The Enthusiasm Project

Quitting My Job To Be A Content Creator: 3 Years Later

April 08, 2024 Season 12 Episode 6
Quitting My Job To Be A Content Creator: 3 Years Later
The Enthusiasm Project
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The Enthusiasm Project
Quitting My Job To Be A Content Creator: 3 Years Later
Apr 08, 2024 Season 12 Episode 6

Send a text message to the show!

I left my full time teaching job just over 3 years ago to be a full time content creator. My wife Heather joins the show this week to take a look back on lessons learned and some of the lesser known aspect of this job.

Check out Heather's Channel:
https://youtube.com/heatherjustcreate

🎙This week's  mics:
•Rode NT1 Signature Series
https://geni.us/nt1signatureseries (Amazon)

•Blue Sona
https://geni.us/sonamic (Amazon)

•Shure Sm7B
https://geni.us/tepsm7b (Amazon)

•The NT1SS was running through the Rodecaster Duo on the NT1 preset.

•The SM7B and Sona were sunning through the Mackie DLZ Creator XS.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E6 | Series Episode 170

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send a text message to the show!

I left my full time teaching job just over 3 years ago to be a full time content creator. My wife Heather joins the show this week to take a look back on lessons learned and some of the lesser known aspect of this job.

Check out Heather's Channel:
https://youtube.com/heatherjustcreate

🎙This week's  mics:
•Rode NT1 Signature Series
https://geni.us/nt1signatureseries (Amazon)

•Blue Sona
https://geni.us/sonamic (Amazon)

•Shure Sm7B
https://geni.us/tepsm7b (Amazon)

•The NT1SS was running through the Rodecaster Duo on the NT1 preset.

•The SM7B and Sona were sunning through the Mackie DLZ Creator XS.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E6 | Series Episode 170

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome. My name is Tom. This is the Enthusiasm Project, season 12, episode 6. Thanks for sticking with me all these seasons and all these episodes.

Speaker 1:

We have a fun topic today, a very different one, because I actually am not going to be alone for most of this episode. Yay, and it's going to be a recap of the past three years of full-time YouTube content creation, employment and what that's like, so we'll talk about that in a second. For now, though, we'll talk about some gear, got a couple listener messages and then we'll dive into the episode. So, first and foremost, right now I am recording on the again the Rode NT1 Signature Series into the Rodecaster Duo on the NT1 preset. So that is, that's my recording right there, and nothing has changed basically from last week in that regard. Nothing has changed basically from last week in that regard, but there will be some changes for most of the episode because I so this whole episode topic was actually my wife Heather's idea, which I think was a great idea, better than any ideas I normally have.

Speaker 1:

Last March, or March of 2024, marked my three year anniversary of leaving my job and becoming a full-time content creator. Three years is a pretty long darn time and the world of anything online. It's like dog years, so it's quite a long time. And she decided like, hey, what if we kind of talked about that and that experience and what you've learned and what it's been like and all that sort of stuff. So I said, absolutely that sounds awesome and that's what we're talking about today. And so we already recorded that and now I'm doing the intro for it, and so most of this episode will be that interview. But we use some different gear. So that's what I'm talking about, it right near right now.

Speaker 1:

The gear now nearly anyway Because I have my new studio setup. I was able to use a new two person podcasting setup, which was a lot more comfortable than it had been in the past and that's awesome. So instead of using what I'm using now, we recorded with the Mackie DLZ Creator XS. Heather was on the Shure SM7B and I was on the Blue Sona and I gotta admit I had kind of a hard time dialing in the Sona exactly how I liked it on the xs, whereas the sm7b was much easier. But a cool thing or at least I hope it's a cool thing it was.

Speaker 1:

It was my first time really using for an extended period the auto mix feature of the dlz creator, which is basically like you can kind of set it how, even if some levels are a little different, there's different speakers it can sort of do exactly what it sounds like and auto mix everything together. So hopefully that kind of helps some of that dynamic range that can take place when you have two different people with different voices talking on mics. But that's what Heather and I are using for most of this episode. But speaking of microphones, we're going to listen to someone else right now on a different microphone because we have a voice message from Gil. Take it away, gil.

Speaker 2:

Hey Tom, this is Gil. I hope all is well. You're now listening to me on the Fafine K688 microphone and I have it plugged in via USB-C into my brand new MacBook Pro M3 Pro brand new MacBook Pro M3 Pro and it sounds great. But this message is not about the microphone. It's more so about my experience with this new laptop.

Speaker 2:

Every time I get a new laptop, desktop, ipad I always like to stress test it, and not in the way that you might think. Yeah, of course I do the whole disk reading and writing speeds and see how it fares to my last computer, but I like to stress test my new devices to see if they can handle gaming. Yes, so I've been playing Baldur's Gate and a few other video games on this M3 Pro and it has been able to handle it like a champ. But I've also have been playing Nintendo Switch games allegedly and games like Legend of Zelda, tears of the Kingdom and Mario Strikers or some other RPG titles from the Nintendo Switch, and I'm able to play it on my MacBook Pro M3 Pro allegedly and have fun. All right, just wanted to share that with you. I might send another message because this is going to be a really fun episode. I already know it, all right.

Speaker 1:

All right, gil, yes. So a couple things to address there. First, congrats on the new computer. The Fafine mic sounds more than Fafine. I'm pretty impressed with their stuff. Congrats on the new computer.

Speaker 1:

I do them too when I get one, just to sort of see, but it's like I don't know. It doesn't really mean anything until I can actually use something like going from my previous Intel computer where I could not run Photoshop and Final Cut at the same time, or I could not use something like zoom without the fan sounding like it was in a blast off into space, and then getting an M one computer where I could do all those things at once and the computer's dead silent. I don't even know what the benchmark score would say, but I know that my quality of life and my actual now computing abilities are so different that it makes a huge difference. So I like that. Your stress test involves things that you actually use and matter, and video games are so good, especially on a Mac. Obviously, macs are not always known for their gaming performance, but you know, using that on a Mac is pretty good and the thing you alluded to with this being a fun episode. Astute listeners might notice that the topic changed a little bit Because typically episode six would be the community episode, but kind of had this awesome, awesome conversation with Heather. That I thought was sort of a cool way to reflect on that. But I will say I will just sort of jump into that. We're talking about video games. Heather and I are deep. We're actually at the very, very end of Yakuza Infinite Wealth or I guess it's like a dragon Infinite Wealth.

Speaker 1:

I, as you may or may not know, because I mentioned this I've always liked games, but Heather has been like the gamer in our relationship. For Christmas her brother gave me an analog pocket which is like a retro gaming handheld device. You can play all of the old Game Boy cartridges on it but you can also load, you know, roms and virtual things. And so I played my first ever RPGs. It was like baby's first RPG. I did Chrono Trigger, which was fantastic, and then I did Earthbound and Mother 3, which is the sequel to Earthbound, and those games are phenomenal. And Chrono Trigger is Heather's all-time favorite game and it was the thing that got her into RPG gaming as a kid and so I wanted to play that because she's only talked about it forever and it's so, so good. It still holds up so well. And Earthbound is my Chrono Tro trigger. It's the one that like it, the, I just like the world, like I really love the world and the writing and the, the gameplay and now that I've played other games since then I have seen how, like, how these tropes and these things evolve a lot and it's kind of cool and you can even see like there's references that I wouldn't have gotten in other games.

Speaker 1:

But Heather has been playing through the entire Yakuza series for a long time now, because Infinite Wealth just came out I think it came out in February, maybe March, I don't remember. But basically I had seen her start to play the series a couple of years ago and it's just kind of always on in the background and so I always like the music, I like some of the characters, but I don't know much about it or how to play it or anything like that. And especially I just did not understand how RPGs worked when she played, uh, like a dragon when that came out a couple years ago, because it's just like there's so much stuff on the screen. I didn't, i't understand it. And it's crazy because after playing even something old like Chrono Trigger, earthbound, I can jump into now PS5 game and understand how it works and what's happening. It's like it's so cool. I feel like I learned a new language, which is very exciting. So Heather's been playing through these, which is cool, and I sort of had an idea of what it's about.

Speaker 1:

But before playing Infinite Wealth, she wanted to replay Like a Dragon from 2019. And I remember that game being really fun to like, listen to and watch her play. But she's like, oh, we'll do New Game Plus because she had already beaten it. So you can basically start the game with all of your like, your weapons and your money and your leveled up stats and everything and kind of like essentially just replay the story really fast and I we ended up she was kind of just doing that quickly, but we ended up playing it together. And then I ended up playing a lot of it and it was so good.

Speaker 1:

Like the main character in that one, ichiban, is like my, like my favorite video game character. He's just the best. And then we played the man who Erased His his name, which came out in november, and that was new to both of us. So we played that from scratch. It was really cool. And then infinite wealth, which came out, I guess like a month ago. It has both characters, um, the main character from man who erased his name, kiryu and ichiban. Then they're together and we are like 150 hours into this game and finally at like the final, the final boss segment here, the point of no return.

Speaker 1:

So we're kind of delaying that it is just been. It's so phenomenally good in every way. I can't even I can't even explain it. So if this were going to be the traditional community episode, most of it would be me just talking about Yakuza, and it's fun too. It's been fun to go from, like, playing a game on the analog pocket you know, playing a Super Nintendo game on the analog pocket to playing a brand new PS5 game. It's so different, but it's been really, really fun. Now, gil was not lying. There is another message fun. Now, gil was not lying. There is another message and it starts off with an amazing pun that I never would have thought of. But Gil is tired of, so take it away again, gil.

Speaker 2:

Hey Tom, this is Gil again, gil again's island. Not like I haven't heard that a billion times growing up, but I really wanted to say I'm really excited for you and I just re-listened to your most recent podcast episode and the part where you said you're going to be working with an after school program really got me excited. I know you're going to. You're going to enjoy it. I got to work with a program called Handy. I got to work with a program called Handy. They deal with at-risk youth and you, I mean in this program I was teaching these kids how to podcast. The last time I think the most recent time I was we did a YouTube video. I taught them how to film a video. Everybody had their own cameras. It was amazing and I just got word last week that I might be up to be working with my local YMCA and teaching kids how to podcast.

Speaker 2:

I just love teaching. Back in the day I was the unofficial, actually, I was an art teacher for my church and it you know it was great. I got to teach kids how to draw, paint, do creative writing you know, you know not not the best writing, but you know write poems and difference between different types of poems. It was great. I love teaching. Maybe in another life I was a teacher, but I just wanted to say I'm really really excited for you and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Speaker 1:

All right, thanks, gil. Yeah, last week I mentioned trying to put together a podcasting course for the upcoming school year. For a local it's going to be a middle school but it's all. It's a very much an at-risk student population, but fortunately it's a. It's an elective afterschool program, so the students all want to be there. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high because I know, you know, when somebody says in the spring, yeah, we're going to do this for the fall, and so many planning, budgetary, administrative changes happen that you know it might be like, oh, we can't do that now. So I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it is something that I'm very excited about and very much looking forward to and Gil's done so many cool. You know teaching things.

Speaker 1:

It's been interesting to me learning that there are so many different ways to teach without being the traditional classroom teacher. That was my career for so long, which I kind of thought was like the only way to do it. And you know I'll tell Gil the same thing. A lot of people tell me through your channel and stuff you're teaching a lot. So it's like you say, in a past life maybe I was a teacher. In this current life. You definitely are. In addition to all the you know the programs and things that you've been able to work with, which are super, super awesome. So I might yeah, I might need some guidance from how you approach these sorts of things. I've never done non-compulsory, you know like kids have to be there and you're the teacher on their schedule giving them a grade. So it's like I've been the teacher that invites people in to teach stuff, but I've never been the person invited in to teach anything before. So it's definitely a very different role. But something I'm super excited about and one of my favorite things working with you know, like high school students in the past was, like you said, teaching them podcasts and video.

Speaker 1:

Is they're so not jaded? I mean some, you know teenagers have hormones and things and they can be, you know, a little bit jaded. But it's a little different than how you know a 36 year old might be jaded. A teenager, like when they're genuinely become interested in something they kind of can't hide it. It's like how you know when a dog is excited, its tail they kind of can't hide it. It's like how you know when a dog is excited, its tail wags and it can't hide that it's sort of the same thing and you know and teenagers don't always have to look at everything as like, well, how is this gonna make me money? How it's just sort of I like this and I want to do this and learn more about it, and it's just the pure joy of it is what drives them and that being around that again would be would be super fun. So I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully that's a thing that happens.

Speaker 1:

Thanks so much, gil, for the voice messages. I appreciate them very, very much and, of course, if you want to send voice messages, you can do what Gil did. You could email them tomandenthusiasmprojectcom, but Gil used SpeakPipe, so you can go to hi, my name is Tomcom, and just right there on the front page of the website is a thing that says record a message for the podcast. You can just use your phone, whatever device you want, and record an episode right there. So, all that being said, let's dive into Heather and I talking about three years of full time content creation.

Speaker 3:

Full-time content creation Hi Tom. Hi how are you today?

Speaker 1:

I'm good we're recording for the first time in my new little like dual person setup over here.

Speaker 3:

I know Tom's very excited that he can look at me as he's talking.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you could have done that before, but I had to turn my neck to the left.

Speaker 3:

You have to do that on the couple's table.

Speaker 1:

I know, but now I don't have to, I can just gaze into your eyes.

Speaker 3:

All right, so today we are going to talk about was this my idea? This was your idea, yeah, so it was tom's three-year workiversary anniversary of being a full-time content creator in march yeah officially which is crazy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, march 19th was my last day officially teaching. March 20th was my first day full-time employment and that was a day I went on. Kevin basic filmmakers live stream with like six other people and it was. It was the best live stream ever, but it also had the most technical difficulties of any live stream ever, and it was a great way to kick off like a new job well, three years is a long time.

Speaker 3:

Uh, I think you have now graduated into no longer a newbie you know how we were called newlyweds for like the first two years. Yeah, you're, you're. I think you've moved into intermediate experience under your belt all right, all right, I'll take it so that's what I wanted to talk to you about yeah, I'm curious where you're gonna take this me too, okay it's gonna be a journey.

Speaker 3:

So, uh, I think that this phase would have been the most helpful for you before you quit, because I feel like there's a lot of stuff out there for, like the, you know the first time period about quitting.

Speaker 3:

And then there's people who are just have been doing it forever and sometimes you wonder like how the heck did you even get there? But this period is like, okay, you've worked out the kinks, you figured out the workflow, you've had ups and downs, you've tested all the things and now you're you're chugging along yeah, pretty much yeah. So first question what is it really like being a full-time content creator?

Speaker 1:

you laughed in the middle of your own question what is it really like?

Speaker 3:

because I think the first, I feel like the first couple, I guess first, two, three years, right, so much of it is just like. What am I doing? It's like survival mode.

Speaker 1:

It's just like at least it was for me.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I think for you you had built a foundation before you made the leap, so maybe it was a little bit different.

Speaker 1:

For me.

Speaker 3:

I was just like I don't even know what I'm doing every day.

Speaker 1:

That was like existential crisis every day. By the time I quit, I was working like two full-time jobs, and so I had been doing this full-time, but just with also a full-time job. But the difference was the pressure of like there's no safety net of you know, if this all fell apart or something weird happened or it didn't make enough money to pay the bills, there was a job to pay the bills, so it was a very different. Even though nothing changed, everything changed, kind of thing.

Speaker 3:

So what is it really like? What is it?

Speaker 1:

actually like it's great, Like it's great.

Speaker 3:

So if you can tell the mom, who is like you know, I'm not doing that, I'm not.

Speaker 1:

Or I'll do that when I turn 45 or whatever the hell he said. That's not what I said. I said, give, I need like two or three years to get things where I want it, over something which would be basically just right now. Um, yeah, no, I'm really glad he was forced in a way to take the leap earlier because it's, it's great, like it. I I don't.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I think when people hear content creator, they, they, they, they have like the instagram influencer kind of it's not that glamorous, right, it's so not glamorous. Yeah, it's very much more kind of like a regular job. But the the part that's great about it, which doesn't even necessarily have to be a content creator, but is the self-employment part, and I think that's a personality thing. I think some people are predisposed to being better at self-employed or like functioning better when they're self-employed, and other people are better when they're employed and they have, you know, they sort of have a direction, a guideline to follow. Both are fine.

Speaker 1:

I think it's just different and I learned that a lot of the problems I had when I was an employee, a lot of like my frustrations and a lot of my stress, came from not being the one in charge where it's like there's so many better ways to approach this thing, but we have to do it the dumbest way possible, because somebody needs to impress their boss, because that person needs to impress their boss, and now I have to do something stupid because of it. That's really frustrating, and now it's like especially public education, which is like the slowest behemoth of a so much so much red tape.

Speaker 1:

I mean literally like you're planning stuff. One school year starts, so it's like august and you're literally now we have to plan for the next school year, not because we're being so efficient in getting ahead, but because things are so slow.

Speaker 1:

It's like okay, is there something I think I need now that we will have to implement in a year, and anything you come up with in the middle of the year is like, oh, that's a torture, because it was like I was looking at students going like, okay, half the market wouldn't even be here then because they'll graduate like I. I didn't like that and so now, self-employed, I can make the rules. If I wanted to have a massive bureaucracy like that, I could, but I don't. So if I want to change something or try something or we decide to do something, it can happen today which actually yesterday was a perfect example yes, it was yes, because I had a crappy morning.

Speaker 3:

I was not feeling good, I like physically, mentally, the whole thing. I took two naps. It was kind of just a day. It's just a weird day, but then I don't even know what time, it was like 2, 30 or 3 p, I think it was 3 pm it was getting late in the afternoon there I was like tom, I have an itch to make a video, but I need your help.

Speaker 3:

And I was like here's what I. Here was what I was thinking. I need you to be the one who's like holding the camera. And then tom put on the creative director hat out of nowhere. I just I actually wasn't expecting that, but it was so much fun and we crunched out an instagram reel in an hour yeah, I mean the filming part was 20 minutes and then you edited it and posted.

Speaker 1:

You know you took care of all that. I just recorded.

Speaker 3:

If there's no way that would have happened of like idea to publish right in a anywhere, nowhere no, you'd have to run through meetings and get approvals, and what about a revision?

Speaker 1:

and maybe this and it's like, uh, and by the time, yeah, it was done before you could even think about doing it, almost. Yeah, which you know, like I guess, to be fair, also could have downsides. That's where sometimes you see people do things that are really dumb and get them in trouble because they didn't take time to think about it. But I don't think either of us are predisposed to that type of thing. So it's I think it's. Ok.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I think the thing that a lot of people worry about when they're trying to start their own business whether it's content creation or not is all the stuff like taxes and health insurance. Yeah, and my sole. What is it called?

Speaker 1:

Sole proprietor.

Speaker 3:

There you go Sole proprietor, do LLC, just all the fees and permits and blah, blah blah. Now you've done this a couple of years, so how was it?

Speaker 1:

So I did a couple of podcast episodes about this in the beginning, and then I kind of stopped, because the more experience I gained, the more I realized I knew just so little. I didn't want to, I didn't want to do anything that was going to be a guidebook to anybody, sure. So that's my disclaimer.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so taxes.

Speaker 1:

Yes, those are tricky.

Speaker 1:

They can be tricky.

Speaker 1:

The tricky part is that as an employee I always just had my W-2 and that would come at the end of January and then I could go online in 10 minutes for free, file my taxes, be done, usually get a return of some kind. And that's not how it works now Because you know you have to pay. At least in the US you have to pay quarterly taxes, which is estimated based on how much money you think you're gonna make that year, and then that could cover your end of your taxes or you could have to pay more. And then when you actually do your taxes you don't just have your W-2, you have probably a bunch of 1099s, probably a bunch of other things, and then you essentially it's like you have to explain where this money you got came from and what it was used for and how much of it was used to run your business. And in in our world that can be tricky where the business and the personal are so interwoven. There there's not like a super clear delineation all the time, so navigating that is tricky.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think what was hard for Tom and I is that you know, obviously we joined in more ways than legally. You know where we got married, but we also created the LLC together. So, like us merging all of that because I had my own system, yeah, and you had never done this before. So creating and merging our systems together where it just makes sense was a definite learning as we're going.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, every every year it feels like there's been some other new big lesson, and one of them is like when you probably need to work with an accountant to get this done, because it's too complicated to navigate otherwise on your own and finding an accountant who understands what it.

Speaker 3:

What a content creator?

Speaker 1:

yeah, as a job is, or at least is willing to learn with you and figure it out. That can be tricky, and so finding the right person and even finding the right person might not be the right person because we started off with an accountant who was terrific, but they were in a different state and so it just turned out they just weren't as familiar with our state's tax laws and rules and things, and so we ended up having to switch to someone in our same state because they were more familiar with things, and so it's like it's not even finding someone good, but it's finding someone good who understands the industry you're in and the rules for your country or your state or both, and that that part can be um tricky. But the I was having dreams of, like going to jail for tax fraud, which I had to learn probably isn't a thing.

Speaker 3:

we're not committing tax fraud like tom, always thinks he's in trouble so that's just even when state of being.

Speaker 1:

we're not, yeah, doing anything remotely wrong, but I just want everything I'm so used to in the world of tax and things it just being buttoned up and done in like January early.

Speaker 3:

February. Tom also has like an 800 credit score. What is it? 850? I don't know what. The highest?

Speaker 1:

I think that's the highest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's what Tom has. So I mean, when it comes to numbers and finances, well, the first time I met Tom, he he had a budget sheet in his kitchen where he would like. I feel like most people don't do this, so I wasn't showing it to visitors.

Speaker 1:

It was just a thing that was hanging out on the counter.

Speaker 3:

People are listening to this and be like Heather. Of course, like everyone has one of these.

Speaker 1:

I'm like I don't know, tom. I feel like takes it up a notch when it comes to well, I was used to things being very structured orderly and clear financially and when you're when your career becomes something new and emerging and unclear, you find out that even the systems and the professionals involved don't always have an answer or process and you have to figure it out together or with your partner or whatever, and that just sort of getting comfortable with the discomfort is yes, exactly like that's a.

Speaker 3:

That's been a surprising amount of time, yeah, spent in the past three years is figuring that whole thing out. Yeah, so I think it's significant. I think it's worth talking about, because it's not like being a full-time content creator. You just it's significant. I think it's worth talking about, because it's not like being a full-time content creator. You just it's just the fun part, like, yeah, there's a business.

Speaker 1:

There's whole days that are just like calling the irs and going to the bank and like you're like. This is not super the glamorous world of like content creation that people think, but it's worth it because ultimately, if you look at the number of days in the year, the number of hours or days you spend doing that aren't nearly as many as the ones you spend doing the stuff that you want to do on your own terms Right.

Speaker 3:

What has been the hardest part.

Speaker 1:

Oh, there's a lot of difficult, difficult parts, because, even though it's great like it's the best, but there's, and some of them. I don't know if it's great like it's the best, but there's, and some of them. I don't know if it's content creation or self-employment, but you know, like being your own boss is hard. You know that because, as great as it is because you can make the decisions, it's very hard to draw boundaries, like your boss is always, but always bothering you 24 7, like you can't escape them because you are them. And I think something that can be difficult, which I think I've done an okay job with but need to get back, is kind of keeping perspective of you know when it's when to call it a day when something is done, when you you don't need to worry about this because you can kind of feel sometimes like like you're not doing enough.

Speaker 3:

And so the to-do list is never ending.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the to-do list never ends. But sometimes you can also feel like, oh, it's almost. Like busy work is satisfying, like if I just go on and I just feel like I've been working on something all day, I'm going to get you know, I'm going to make progress and get some kind of return on that, and no, like this just doesn't work. That way.

Speaker 3:

The tricky part about being self-employed is that your effort does not necessarily correlate with how much you get paid. So you can spend all day or, you know, forever on a video, for example, and it could be your worst performing video or your, you know, it's just for your creative expression yeah, and you can, there's no which is valid.

Speaker 1:

Like that's a great thing, but like, yeah, learning all of that is yeah, those are all things that that don't necessarily matter as much when it's not your full-time thing and that you know, like they're.

Speaker 1:

The thing for me has been trying to find the balance of like I want to do things my way and keep up my like, my integrity and my process and my creative fulfillment and, you know, keep it sustainable so that I can keep doing it and want to keep doing it for a long time.

Speaker 1:

But there is a fundamental shift when it becomes also this is how you're paying bills and like feeding yourself and stuff and your family and you're like and providing for your future Like it. It's hard not to look at the numbers a little differently and I understand why people fall into the traps of like taking crappy sponsorships and being, you know, frustrated what they're making and like I understand why that happens to people and I've been wanting to avoid those things. But I think the benefit of maybe taking longer than I needed to or should have to start doing this is that I was kind of able to be a little more analytical about seeing other people doing it in a way I thought was really cool and that I liked how I would like to do it and seeing how people were doing in a way that I didn't like and trying to learn from the mistakes of others. You're going to make your own mistakes but like trying as best I could to learn from others' mistakes first, and I think that really did help.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, uh, what were things you didn't expect, like just completely either good or bad.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean the Hmm, there's a lot. There's a lot of good that I didn't expect, which which just happens with content creation in general, but when you can focus on it more time, full time, the the like little paths and networks and things that can form that you don't expect, like is you never know where something is gonna go like, regardless of a video performance or whatever one person sees it, it leads here. It leads here.

Speaker 3:

it leads here yeah, we just watched, uh, one of my early videos recently like two days ago. There's a video where I got my boosted board for the first time, and that was the second video that Tom watched on my channel. We hadn't even talked yet, and then that led you to watch the next video, where you finally left a comment, gave me your email and now we've been married almost four years yeah, so, and and that I mean that's probably the ultimate example of this but even even just other.

Speaker 1:

You know the messages and the emails you can get and like that kind of stuff, like the I don't know what you would call it, the community, not the typical way you would think of, like a viewer audience community, but like your I don't know if it's a professional community. That you can grow is crazy and you know, I mean like even getting into hockey over the past. You know year and a half now year, year and a half finding as I go into like now I want to listen to hockey podcasts, finding out that people who produce some of the ones that like they learned from you which I didn't know.

Speaker 1:

Like they. They watched my channel and reached out and like that kind of thing is is super cool to then realize, like wait, like there was one of them there, there's a um, it's called. In goal magazine, they have a podcast and a youtube channel and the podcast is great. I only got into that recently. I didn't realize the channel.

Speaker 1:

The podcasts were connected the same yeah, and finally one of the guys from the podcast had reached out and was just saying, just touching base and introducing and cool, learned a lot from the channel and everything. And I was like oh my God, once I made the connection I was like I've watched every video on YouTube.

Speaker 1:

If you go to my YouTube account, you go to your channel and videos they all have the red bar under them because I like watched all of them and that's like I would never have expected to make. I wouldn't have even known where to begin making a connection with someone like that and now we already have like so much in common because of that and you know, like that that sort of thing is is really cool. Like you just got to spend more time on it, obviously because it's full-time, than you could when it's part time.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think that. I think the thing is like because, because you are sharing stuff about things that you're excited about, people who are also excited about that same thing might be excited about another thing that you're excited about.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

You can, you know, I mean like it kind of overlaps.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And that's surprising, because it's like you don't realize that you have made an impact on what they've been creating for years.

Speaker 1:

I think that also comes from setting the tone specifically, like I don't think that's necessarily true for everyone, but I know on my channel I try to be fun and positive and upbeat, and so Right, channel, I try to be fun and positive and upbeat and so right, like that sets a tone. I don't know if that's gonna be the case for someone who does like negative call out videos or you know, like they could have a very different experience with their types of connections and things. I've just been fortunate that, like a lot of the, a lot of the people that I encounter in like that professional community are people that I would want to like be friends with and spend time with anyway, and that's that's been shocking uh, what do you think?

Speaker 3:

I don't know how to ask this. What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about being a full-time content creator? Or like what do you wish people understood more, if that makes sense?

Speaker 1:

I mean, it's the, it's the, the version of a content creator on like csi, versus what it's really like. Okay, so like meaning when, when, when a show like csi, who who like appeals to like a very broad audience and typically a slightly older audience. When they show a profession, it's the most stereotypical version of that profession and so like the cop is eating donuts or something.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if they show a content creator, it's going to be like the 19 year old Instagram influencer who's just taking photos of herself and location and somehow she's rich, which is very small number of people Like that's not most people and understanding what it actually is, which I think it's slowly becoming as it's becoming a job for longer. But you know, even on Reddit, like maybe like three or four weeks ago, I was reading a thread that was oh, it was in the teacher subreddit, because I still, I don't know I still read some of the things in there.

Speaker 1:

Helps me make sure that I made the right choice. There was something about like you know what kids want to be and kids don't have like ambition for the future. Someone was venting about something and a person replied saying, like there can only be so many like you know, youtubers and influencers or whatever. And I was happy because another person joined in and said, like well, actually, what the influencers don't show you are all the soft skills that are required and the kids don't pick up on that, on the communication and the writing and the planning and the organization and you know the technical skills and the critical thinking, problem solving all of which are part of it. For yourself, advocating for yourself You're. Those are things nobody usually thinks of, typically when they think of like an influencer.

Speaker 3:

Right, cause it just looks like they're having fun yeah.

Speaker 1:

And, and so what I, what I wish were different, more people understood is is the if you were to make a video unplanned right now you can do that.

Speaker 3:

That is not the same as someone who has never made a video right making a video unplanned, like yeah, that's what we did when I did that video.

Speaker 1:

That was unedited. It's like, yes, I pressed record and talked for 35 minutes and it was a decent video.

Speaker 3:

Like the video we made yesterday. We can crunch it out in an hour because we've had years of experience. Like we, you know how to frame the video. I know. I know, like, how far to stand away from the wall.

Speaker 1:

Like we also have our, our individual thing where, like you say something and I know I, you tell me you want something to look a certain way and I, I know what you mean, even if it's not exact.

Speaker 3:

Like yeah, we have like our. I don't know to use the wide angle lens, but Tom does.

Speaker 1:

Right yeah, Like I, like we. We have our communication. All that takes time to build up and takes repetition, and the genuine skillset that comes with it is often overlooked. The biggest thing because biggest thing because it's a phone, everyone's like, oh, especially if you're using a phone, yeah, like I have a phone, yeah, and that's. That's one of the biggest things I've realized is overlooked, like in the past year the.

Speaker 3:

The way people undervalue the on camera or on microphone skills is massive well, you can even say that about podcasts too, because it just looks like two people are talking well, that's why I said or on microphone, because I was like you know the number of people like my friends are funny.

Speaker 1:

We should have a podcast. No, you shouldn't. Yeah, maybe, yeah, you could yeah.

Speaker 3:

But it's different when you're creating content for an audience. You know, this is totally totally different.

Speaker 1:

It's a very different skill set, especially as someone who never intended to be on camera like I can tell you it's a very different yeah it's, which is why, even like, my workflow has evolved, and I think I've talked about this in last week's podcast, but I now typically like set everything up to film on one day and then film the next day, so that you've been doing that, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So on the filming day, the thing I focus on is the presenting part of it. I don't have to think about like wait, where does this cable go? And I need to push this. Should this angle be over here and should that be like? I want everything set up so that I can come in and then not think about that stuff and instead think about communicating and like being on camera, because that's what people are going to see in there, because that's a whole separate skill set.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That is very undervalued. And a lot of times too, in the comment section, you hear people you know who will give the feedback. You should do this, you need to do this. Why do you do this? Blah, blah, blah, and it's like I would wager quite a bit that those people cannot present on camera most of the time, even if they have the very specific piece of technical knowledge that they're sharing and even if they're correct. Doing all of this at once and then being the person who is whose face, is the thing people see very, very different, and that's I. I do feel confident that most people could learn to do it yeah totally.

Speaker 1:

But it's like playing an instrument, riding a bike, doing whatever, like you have to put in the hours to doing it and very few people will do that yeah, uh, is there a tool you've used this whole time?

Speaker 3:

I'm sure there's a couple, but like tried and true, three years full time, this is a the roadcaster actually you're not using the roadcast right now, that's not it but yeah, um, I mean the notes app.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like, truthfully, if you want something that like does, you don't have to spend a ton of money, I guess, other than buying a mac or an iphone or something all like multiple notes a day yeah, it's constant.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, personal and professional, and I've tried other things, but I always end up going back to the notes I was talking about last week because someone had asked a question about um, like productivity and all this kind of stuff, and it's like I don't have anything cool, fancy or groundbreaking. It's the notes app. You know, I mean when I think of the core tools, like a good roadcaster, like mixer doesn't have to be a roadcaster, something like that's pretty key. A good microphone is key. A camera with good autofocus is key. Um, those kinds of things are super.

Speaker 3:

Ecam live is important we use it for everything. Yeah, uh, let's see. Um, if someone, well so say, you were listening to this, sure, five years ago, is there anything that you would say to yourself to cut to, kind of just like here's what to expect, here's, here's how you can start preparing to make the leap like is there anything that you were either blindsided about or you just didn't you know? Is there something you could have prepped ahead? To kind of prepare, I think?

Speaker 1:

if someone wanted to like transition, I think if you genuinely wanted to try it which I did try to do for the past, not for the last, like I don't know, six to eight months at least was try doing it full-time, like mock full-time yeah, like while you're working so what that?

Speaker 1:

yeah, so what that meant was like, even though I was still getting a paycheck, which is a nice safety net, what if I didn't use any of that money to pay our bills? Like, can we pay our bills? And that, you know that kind like that helped to to figure like, well, is this a real thing? It's not exactly the same. Keeping track of your stuff and looking at it, you know, realistically, because if you have a good month, something happens. You have a viral video, you release your first course and you know you've been building up, so you sell a whole bunch of them one month, whatever happens, and suddenly you're at the point where you made like five figures in a month. You made $10,000, $15,000 in a month and you're like, oh my God, I can. This is way more than full-time income for me, that's true, but will you now make $2,000 next month? Is a version of that, or a level of that, sustainable? So if you do keep track of your income and your revenue and all those types of things, you can look back on that and see is it really? Is this one good thing, sort of a fluke, or is there a trend?

Speaker 1:

And for me, in my case, the growth of the channel over now seven years has been very like, just kind of moderate. There's been little bumps and things along the way, but for the most part incline, for the most part it's it's a very okay I. I think it's probably actually the most exciting graph to look at, where it's just a very slow incline slow one, but it's not one that anyone's going to use on like their keynote presentation of like look at the power of this. Where it's just like a straight up, you know, exponential growth thing. It's not that exciting. It's just sort of like slow and steady growth and kind of looking at that. That's, that's something that you want yeah that's a really valuable thing.

Speaker 1:

That is, that is hard to. I don't know how to make that happen, but you know, if you look at those types of cues which I know, it's not like that doesn't even go for like the fun creating part, but even the creating part too. I remember people saying now that it's full you can just make a whole ton of videos. And it's like, well, yeah, but I don't want to get tired of making videos. I don't want to run through all my ideas right away. I don't want to just take the you know 80 or 90 hours a week that I'm putting into my two full-time jobs now and just put those into one full-time job.

Speaker 1:

Like I want to be able to like breathe yeah I want to be able to maybe not get up at 5 am with an alarm every day and maybe be able to take a break and, like, have more time to myself to be refreshed as a human well see, that's what I didn't expect from is like it.

Speaker 3:

The unglamorousness of it is the glamour to me. Yeah, like that, I love that. It's like if someone told me that this is how it's gonna be like how awesome, like it's perfect yeah, I mean that that depends on the person.

Speaker 1:

There are some people who will constantly work on five, five projects of some kind at the same. They're never not making something, and that's what they love For you and I both, which it's good that our like goals align. Yeah, we really. We love to make stuff, but we also love to then be able to sit and go like whew okay, yeah, let's play some video games.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that that, I think, is what keeps it sustainable, because the making thing something is always new and exciting and fun and different, and you know, that's what keeps it going.

Speaker 3:

Are you happy?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I couldn't be happier.

Speaker 3:

My biggest fear is losing it all. You sound sarcastic.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, I'm not. I'm not being sarcastic, I like I'm not being sarcastic. My biggest fear is losing this.

Speaker 3:

I can see your face so I know you're not being sarcastic, but the way that you're saying it, the guy who tells jokes all the time.

Speaker 1:

It's not a joke. My biggest fear is losing it, because that's how much I care about it and that I don't like that.

Speaker 3:

But everyone is scared about losing their job.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I mean, like this is different. I could go get another teaching job. It might not be as cool as the one I had, but you know, like if I need to be in a classroom getting a paycheck, whatever, like you, you know, a lot of times you can kind of get another job. This is a thing that's very hard to replace or replicate or whatever, and and, and you know as much as we can control it and try to be as effective, there's a lot of it that's out of our hands and that's that is scary, yeah, which is also, though maybe that's a thing you want to go back to. What I would tell someone. I think the stability of having your traditional job is kind of a lie, because the number of people I've known who get fired.

Speaker 3:

I've gotten laid off fired, laid off I needed.

Speaker 3:

I've told the story on your podcast, but this is how much I had no idea. I bought a new creamer for the for and, you know, for everyone to share that day, oh my God, and I put it in the fridge and the the chair of the board was there with the executive director in the meeting room, and I had to walk by the meeting room to go put the freaking creamer in the fridge and they both looked at me and said oh, heather, when you're, when you're done, can you come in?

Speaker 1:

here, when you're done giving us this thing you paid for. Come in here so we're gonna fire.

Speaker 3:

I was so excited because it was like some special flavor or whatever and I was so excited to share. You never got to use it.

Speaker 1:

No, dude I went straight into the office and it was.

Speaker 3:

They were sitting on the other side and they were like you know it was whatever, we're so thankful for your work. But blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and I just I was so I no idea. I went back to my office and just started crying. Yeah, I was like, how am I going to tell my parents? I just got laid off.

Speaker 1:

I got laid off once. I don't think I ever even. I think I told the first of it, but it wasn't as serious as that because I was like 17.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, this is like my. You know, my first adult job, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You need you. It was the job you needed. I was working at a tv station when I was 17. I had been an intern, I was bouncing around all these different positions and finally I got hired as a floor director, which was like my kind of, my dream position, because you operate all the cameras during the broadcast, you take care of the studio it's, you just live in the studio, take care of the studio.

Speaker 1:

There were five cameras during a broadcast, so it was like I got to operate so many different things. It was basically a dream job. But when I got hired for it they told me like oh, in the next year sometime we're gonna update all these cameras there from like the early 90s, we're gonna update all these cameras to robotic cameras and then we won't have a floor director anymore. I was like, okay, so I knew it was temporary. It wasn't really a surprise.

Speaker 1:

But eventually, um, it kind of went on a little longer than they had planned and I was just loving the job. It was the coolest every day. I just was like I can't believe, like I go from my high school class to this, like this is so cool. And I remember the night my like boss took me aside and he was like well, you know, remember we talked that this was a temporary thing. There's, you know, there's new cameras coming in.

Speaker 1:

It's like the new cameras are here and I remember being in the hallway and and like, yep, I understand, I didn't. I couldn't hide the tears that were like coming, how cute. And I knew he could tell and I was just like it's I mean, you know, that was the terms of the job like and it's also from their point of view like, just hire the high school kid to like ride this thing out till we're done with it and then he can go because he doesn't matter, but like that.

Speaker 1:

But the point is like stability stability is much more of an illusion than you think, and even I. I've talked about this before but I think it's worth reiterating, as a public school, as a tenured public school teacher, that that's more stability than most jobs have Like. For the most part, unless I do something absolutely horrific or illegal, I have a job and and to give that up seems crazy, but even that I'm I'm tenured, so I'm guaranteed a job. I'm not guaranteed a certain job, so I could be, I could be transferred to give them the worst assignment ever, which is a thing that people do when they want to drive someone out. They just ruin their daily life, make you miserable and then you leave, which is illegal but very difficult to prove.

Speaker 1:

So that can happen. But also, it doesn't take much for there to be an administrative change at a school site to change everything. Take much for there to be an administrative change at a school site to change everything. A legislative change, a district change, like economic, like there's so many other variables that are just. It doesn't even have to do with you or your performance someone uh joined the team of course who is so toxic, and I that I mean.

Speaker 3:

That was like one of the contributing factors for me finally quitting you're not the job you get laid off from, but you're the last job I had. Yeah, I just it was.

Speaker 1:

So. Just one person, one shift yeah, can change everything. That's definitely happened to me at previous jobs too, and so there's I would say that there's more stability in a traditional job than you know being a full time content creator job than you know being a full-time content creator have to there.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, so the difference is that it is someone's full-time position to worry about taxes and accounting and law like hr laws and like all of that stuff that we had to kind of figure out on our own and have to make time for.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so there's more stability there, but there's not as much as I thought yeah and I don't think there's as much as a lot of people think.

Speaker 1:

I think a lot of people. The thing that that sometimes baffles me is when someone I understand if someone has like a 5 000 subscriber channel they're barely starting to make revenue and they're like how do I do this full-time? That's hard. Like you have a, you have a ways to go before it can probably be full time unless you're, you know, young and living at home and single and stuff, um, but you know, if you're an adult with a family and expenses and things, that can be difficult. The flip side of that is the number of people I know who have quite large channels hundreds of thousands, maybe even into the millions and still don't do it full time. In some cases, I know it's because they don't want to. They really like their job Right and that's awesome. In other cases I almost feel like they're tortured. And a lot, a number of times I've seen people use stability as the excuse and I'm like you're one. You've been using this as an excuse for years now. All of those years you could have been doing this full time. So okay.

Speaker 3:

And two, it is more of an illusion than you think like is that me and you are so adaptable and we have a skill set that nobody can take away, right? So if we need to restructure, if we need to, you need to start doing consulting. I need to start teaching classes in person again, or you know, I need. You know, I start working with local businesses to make content for their social media.

Speaker 3:

Like, there's so many ways that we can figure out how to make money if, for some reason, youtube disappeared yeah and so, like I I'm just it's almost like I feel like there's more security on banking, on us regardless of your industry, investing in yourself is always the best thing, for sure no, no business is ever gonna be able to to pivot that quickly no you. You know for us we could start. You can schedule consulting things on your calendar right now.

Speaker 1:

Right, and that when I worked at the at Trader Joe's the grocery store, which at the time when I started working there they were one of the higher paying stores, you got insurance. It was a good place to work. That kind of changed at the time I was there, but the thing that they did was they paid especially their managers are really well. So like, even like their store managers could make, I think, upwards of one 51, 60,000 a year. This is back in like 2007, 2008. So, ballers, that's pretty freaking good, yeah, um, and they're like lower level managers. Their entry level managers could start at like 80,000 or something.

Speaker 1:

You automatically a full time week was 50 hours, so you didn't work less than 50 hours a week, but most of them hadn't gone to school because a lot of them they started working at the store kind of straight out of high school or maybe even in like community college, yeah. And then it was like well, you keep going to school, or you get this job, or you make an 80 grand a year and you're 21 years old, 22 years old. The number of people that just took that like why wouldn't you? And I even was like I'm working like multiple jobs and going to school and broke like I could just work one job and have more money and like what? Um?

Speaker 1:

But the thing I saw happen again and again was they were investing in this company and all it took time and time again was one management change and suddenly they would either get fired or they would literally like it really did happen, where people like they had worked years at a store that's five minutes from their home and now, oh, starting on Monday, you work at the store that's 90 miles away, but you still work 50 hours a week. But now you just have a, you know, a two hour commute on top of that each way, and obviously the whole point of that is to get them to quit, yeah, mute on top of that each way, and obviously the whole point of that is to get them to quit, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

and then people would quit and when they quit they aren't gonna go make eighty thousand dollars a year anywhere else. Most of the time I saw them just being like a regular kind of clerk at another grocery store for probably you know, 14 15 bucks an hour at the time, which was decent ish pay, but not nearly what they were doing, and they were just kind of screwed because they had invested so much time in one specific company, not in themselves, and that was kind of thing I told myself was like I'm going to school. I know English degrees kind of made fun of as the useless degree, but it's something no one can take away from me and the skills that come with it. And then you know every job I had the experience like trying to to learn things that can't be taken away.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So that goes for not just content creation. But investing in yourself is a thing, but content creation forces you to invest in yourself so hard that you end up building such a diverse skills set yeah, yeah, because you're you're doing r&d constantly, yeah, well, anyway, I just want to say I'm really proud of you thank you. I could not have done this without you. So thank you, I mean the day we're lucky that we're a team you know, we are very.

Speaker 1:

The day we met years I mean, my channel had four subscribers or something. You were like you should do this. You just do this full time.

Speaker 3:

It's like it's costing me money. I don't.

Speaker 1:

This makes negative dollars like how could I do this? I just always knew I was like dude man so it was very nice because I also know for a lot of people, you know, getting their partner on the page with them is hard. I know, I know we're so lucky.

Speaker 1:

It is difficult and the fact that we're able to just sort of be on the same page and have that support is a really, really lucky thing, and you also helped me, you know, going from a more structured existence to an unstructured one. You've helped me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and understand things can be figured out and you know it's all okay, it's gonna be okay. Well, yay, congrats yay, well, thank you for doing this episode and having this idea.

Speaker 1:

This is really fun yeah it's fun to take time and reflect and sometimes sometimes you kind of like it's hard to do that by yourself. You kind of need the other person in the room to do it. Yeah, cool. Well, thank you for listening to this. I appreciate that. If you have any thoughts, comments, feedback, as usual, you can send them to tom and enthusiasm projectcom, or you can go to hi, my name is tomcom and leave a voice message for the show if you want to check out Heather. Where should people go?

Speaker 3:

youtubecom slash heatherjustcreate and you'll find the couples table, which is the live stream podcast that Tom and I host pretty much every Friday at 1pm, pacific standard time.

Speaker 1:

Alright, thank you for listening. Hope you have a safe, happy, healthy, fun rest of your week and and we'll see you next time.

YouTube Creator Reflects on Three Years
Full-Time Content Creation
Challenges and Rewards of Content Creation
Undervaluing the Skillset of Content Creation
Preparing for Freelance Transition Concerns
Stability and Investing in Yourself

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