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Who are you to share what you know? Hasn’t someone else already said it before?
It’s true, there’s nothing new under the sun… except YOU.
You have something unique to offer the world. Yes, someone else has done similar work. Someone has made similar art, written similar copy, sold similar products, but your perspective, your voice, your upbringing, and your context is unlike any other.
The world is worse off without your unique voice and perspective. You must believe this. Lean into this.
Your quirky style, your weirdness, your history, your viewpoints are uniquely valuable.
Do you ever catch yourself thinking, “What’s the point?”
Do you feel like you’re just a drop in the ocean and everything has already been said before?
Tune into today’s show.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- There’s nothing new under the sun except you.
- The world is worse off without your unique perspective—you must believe this.
- Become a caricature of yourself and your values because people will only take away a small piece.
- Admit when you’re wrong and iterate in public to build trust.
- Document the process of becoming the person you want to be.
- As soon as you flip the switch from consumer to producer, you position yourself as an influencer.
- If there are a lot of people doing what you do, it’s a good sign, because it’s market validation.
- You are an influence to the people in your life right now, even with zero followers.
- When you speak up, you add context and, therefore, you add value.
- Your focus right now should not be on trying to be original; your focus should be on showing up.
- 06:56 Sean: Feel like everything you have to say has already been said before? Do you ever feel like a drop in the ocean—a small fish in a big pond? There’s nothing new under the sun. Everything’s already been said. Who am I? Why should I put my voice out there? I’m just one more person. Cory, you were sharing in the chat.
- 07:16 Cory: When you asked that question, I was just like, “Yes.” When you say, do you feel like everything you want to say has already been said? I thought, “Yes.”
- 07:23 Sean: You said that you’re caught up in your own world. “Everyone and their mom is a filmmaker,” you said. That’s in your mind. Everyone listening right now is laughing. There are three filmmakers listening and thousands of other people who don’t know anyone who’s a filmmaker.
- 07:37 Cory: You get so immersed in your own world, and you’re talking with other people in your industry about what they’re doing, what you’re not doing… You feel behind. That’s your world. When other people are doing anything that you’re not doing, you constantly feel behind. It’s easy to get discouraged by being in your own world, but you have to take a step back. The rest of the people aren’t giving any effort to pursue anything.
- 08:06 Ben: I’m thinking about things that I might say or share as my message or voice, and then I’m also thinking about work that I’m doing. I have even seen where, surrounded by certain influencers and constantly being exposed to their message, there is this natural thought path that we fall into because we are consuming things, thinking the same things, and thinking about the same things all the time.
- 08:43 I’ve had it happen where I’ll have a thought one morning, like, “Oh, that’s really good,” and I’ll go to tweet it. Somebody I follow who has tons of followers will have said it first thing that morning. They just tweeted it out, “I had this great thought, guys.” It’s stuff like that. Then there’s feeling like, “I could say this, but they’ve already said it and they said it better than I’ll probably say it.”
- 09:12 Then there’s the work thing. Especially if you’re following somebody or a lot of people in your industry, at many different levels, it can start to feel like, “Why should I even bother? What I want to be able to do, somebody already does ten times better than I can imagine myself ever being able to do it. Why do we need another person doing that same thing?”
Your Unique Voice
- 09:39 Sean: You feel like what you have to share is something that everyone else has talked about. Maybe someone else has said it more eloquently than you ever could. It seems like you could never say it as well as someone else. Why should you go out there and make the same thing? Why should you make something similar? Why should you put your voice out there? Hasn’t someone already done that?
- 10:12 There’s this phrase, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” and it’s kind of true. Everything is a remix. There’s this great video series, if you haven’t seen it. There’s a new one, and if you saw the original ones, everything is a remix. There’s a new one as of a year ago or in the past year that’s also really good. It’s these videos in this series called Everything Is a Remix. It’s a great series. Check it out.
- 10:43 It talks about how different movies and art recycle things. It’s really good. That’s where this whole, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” phrase comes from. While it’s kind of true that there’s nothing new under the sun, I would add one little thing to the end of it, which is: except you.
- 11:07 You are new. You do have unique perspectives. You have a unique upbringing, a unique style and voice, and the world is worse off without your unique perspective. You must believe this. You have to believe it. You have to lean into that. You’ve got to lean into your quirkiness, your weirdness, the thing that makes you different from other people. You need to lean into that. Own that.
- 11:38 Ben: Maybe it’s hard for you to do that, it’s hard for you, at face value, to say, “If I say or share something, does that really make a difference?” Sure, the possibility exists that you say something and nobody hears it. It doesn’t influence somebody’s day and it doesn’t spread. On the other side, the possibility exists that you will say one thing that one other person hears, and it influences their day and maybe sets them on a little bit more of a positive trajectory.
- 12:16 You’ve head of the butterfly effect. As long as that possibility exists, that possibility is infinite. Then, it’s a lot easier to believe when I say something or share something, even if I’m quoting someone else. If I say, “This quote is really inspirational. These aren’t my words, but I’m going to share them.” The fact that you shared them with your relationships, your connections, is significant. It’s potentially infinitely significant. Of course, it’s easy to believe that the things you say and do could make a difference.
- 13:00 Sean: That’s a great point. I asked people questions in the chat before the show started to get an idea of their internal monologue.
There’s nothing new under the sun except you.
Your Internal Monologue
- 13:10 Sean: When you think about putting yourself out there, you think about sharing your message, and you don’t do it, what’s the voice in your head? What’s the resistance you’re feeling? What are those struggles? Here are some of the things people said:
- “Who am I to say anything about this?”
- “Someone will call me out for not really knowing what I’m talking about.”
- “Why are you reporting on this news? The larger outlets got to it a lot earlier and did it with higher production.”
- “What if you got it all wrong and make a fool of yourself?”
- “Those other people have years and years of experience. I’m only 27, and I don’t have the tangible experience those people do.”
- 13:49 I wrote some thoughts down for each of these. “Who am I to say anything about this?” If you’re feeling like that, you’re you! That’s who you are! Make that mean something. The world is worse off without your unique perspective. You have to believe that. Lean into that. Someone said they feel like someone’s going to call them out for not really knowing what they’re talking about. This is a very common fear.
- 14:21 Someone smarter than me is going to say, “What are you talking about? You don’t know what you’re doing.” Your audience is not the people who know more than you, it’s the people who can learn from you. The people who know more than you, I’m sorry to break it to you, but they’re not paying attention. They have more important things to do than to look at people who know less than them and make fun of them or say, “You don’t have this right.”
- 14:48 We see that all the time. You probably do. You see people doing things and they’re not the way you would do it, or you think, “That’s a mistake,” but you’re not even going to go out of your way to offer that. It’s a common fear for us, putting ourselves out there, but it’s not something you’re going to deal with.
- 15:09 Ben: Can I share something that I experienced recently? I follow Levi’s vlog. Levi is one of our Community members. He’s an extraordinary filmmaker, and he put out a video talking about how he uses 3D tracking to create titles that follow the camera’s movements. It’s really cool stuff. In his vlog, as he was sharing, he was walking through the steps that he takes to do it, and he said several times, “Maybe there’s a better way. I’m not an expert at this kind of work.”
- 15:48 He admitted that, but he was courageous enough to share it in spite of the fact that he wasn’t an expert. When I look at him, I consider him an expert in so many things, but not only does that help somebody who hasn’t figured that stuff out yet, who hasn’t even started to figure out how to do 3D tracking titles or whatever, but maybe somebody does see that and thinks, “That’s cool, but there’s a more efficient way to do that,” and they can share that in the comments.
- 16:22 It opens the door for people with a little bit more expertise to add clarity and value to what you’re doing. If you hadn’t shared it in the first place, there wouldn’t have been that opportunity.
- 16:36 Sean: “Why are you reporting on this news? The larger outlets got to it a lot earlier and did it with higher production.” Something comes out. You cover video game consoles, and a new video game console comes out. A new iPhone comes out. You cover iPhone news. A new app or a new movie or something in your space is revolutionary. Everyone in your space is paying attention to it. You’re like, “I have to talk about this, but all of the other big players talk about it first.”
- 17:06 You don’t have enough time to get to it as quickly as they do, and their production quality is way better. Why should you talk about it? Why should you cover this item? Again, you have a unique voice. Some people aren’t going to resonate with the big players. Maybe they like the fact that you’re an independent, smaller player, and they resonate with your voice. They feel like they can have a conversation with you and talk with you about this. Maybe you disagree with the take that other people have.
- 17:41 I would lean into your quirks, your personality, your weirdness. That’s what’s going to stick with people. What are caricatures? Caricatures are illustrations, drawings of people where certain features are exaggerated—the big nose, the beauty mark. They’re exaggerated because those are the things that are memorable. They’re the things we notice but we don’t typically draw attention to, but that’s what makes someone recognizable. That’s how you can create a cartoon or a caricature of a president or a prominent figure and it’s immediately recognizable.
- 18:27 That’s because they play up those distinguishable features. You should become a caricature of yourself, your quirks, your weirdness, your personality, and your values. You should become an extreme version of those things, because people are not going to notice you. The things that you think make you unique, you’re not making them prominent enough to be memorable.
- 19:00 Ben: Sometimes what happens when we get in front of the camera or we go out in public is that we’re thinking so much about how other people have packaged their presentation that we’re holding back. Maybe we’re putting out something that looks more like 60% or 70% of us. We’re like, “This is 60% me, because I’m afraid if I put out the whole me, that’s going to be so weird and different that it’s going to freak people out.” That’s what people need.
- 19:33 I don’t know if this is a great example, but Casey Neistat has millions of followers, and I didn’t watch any unbox scenes or review videos of the new Macbook except for his. His was the only one I watched, and he didn’t get into the really technical stuff and talk about how he might use the touch bar specifically and stuff like that. From an understanding-the-product standpoint, it wasn’t a very good video.
- 20:13 Sean: A comprehensive review.
- 20:14 Ben: Right. It was so entertaining, and it was completely his style. I think he put it out a week or two weeks after it came out, so he waited a while. That was completely okay with me, because I was looking for something like what he put out. This whole “being first” thing can be good, and in some cases, it might feel more necessary to be first, but there’s also value in allowing the story to unfold, letting it breathe a little bit. Then, you have more to report on.
Stop worrying about the people who know more than you.
You’re teaching the people who know a little bit less than you, so help them get to the next step.
Even if you’re covering news that has already been covered, you could be a refreshing voice.
When you’re not the first to report on something that’s happening, you can tell a better story because you’ve had more time to reflect on it.
Becoming a Caricature
- 21:03 Sean: Casey Neistat is really great at playing up the unique characteristics of himself as a caricature of himself, like the sunglasses. He does have a practical reason for wearing them. He has a flip-out LCD on his camera that he looks at while he films, where if he did not wear the glasses, you would see his eyes looking to the side, which feels uncomfortable. There’s a practical reason, but he also wears them because now that’s become a thing where he’s recognizable.
- 21:40 Or how he destroys packages when he opens them. He’s playing that up. I don’t feel like I do a phenomenal job, but I try to own those things. I’m skinny. I’m introverted. I don’t mince words. I have long hair. I don’t eat. Weird things about me. I try to play those up. I try to own the weird things about me, because I think those are the weird quirkiness of my character. I’m curious, when you think of me personally, what do you think of?
- 22:21 Ben: In one word? If there was one word, I have the word.
- 22:41 Cory: I just think of values, of things you stand for and believe in. I want to hear what you have to say.
- 22:47 Ben: I was going to say “robot.”
- 22:52 Sean: That’s kind of been a running bit. Cory Miller received an audio message from me this morning where I don’t know what happened, but in translation, it turned into robot voice. He was like, “Did you forget to use your human voice?” That’s kind of something we play up.
- 23:15 Ben: Robots are kind of a combination of some of those characteristics you mentioned.
- 23:21 Sean: Sarah says, “Sean: incredible mind, strong values, long hair, doesn’t eat.” Okay. Anyway, play those up. “Only pizza,” Keshna says. “When I think Sean, I think ‘no excuses.'” Man, that’s good.
- 23:44 Ben: Indoors!
- 23:53 Sean: Cory Miller says, “Sean is boss, can fire me, pays me, is responsible for my family eating.” Okay.
What if I’m Wrong?
- 24:04 Sean: “What if you got it all wrong and you make a fool of yourself?” Iterate in public! If you’re wrong, admit you’re wrong. There’s nothing more refreshing. Imagine if a political candidate came out and said, “You know what? I was wrong. I messed up.”
- 24:19 Ben: I can’t.
- 24:21 Sean: I know! But think about how refreshing it might be. Yes, the press might murder them, but as a person, as a human, when you connect with someone and they say, “I messed up. I was wrong,” immediately, you’re off of your defenses. You lower all of that.
- 24:43 Ben: I can’t say how many times I’ve fantasized that that would happen and it didn’t.
- 24:52 Sean: You have to be the change that you want to see.
- 24:59 Share what you know. Don’t share what you don’t know. Don’t be an imposter. Don’t teach people how to build a business if you’ve never built a business. Share what you know, and if you’re wrong as you learn, share what you learn as you go. You’re going to build trust. You don’t have to worry about, “What if I’m wrong? What if I make a fool of myself?” Make a fool of yourself and laugh at yourself.
- 25:21 If you laugh at yourself, you completely diffuse the situation. You remove any amo that someone has against you. If you make fun of your long hair, no one else can make fun of it. If you make fun of your double chin, no one else can make fun of it. Take the amo away.
Admit you’re wrong and iterate in public—this builds trust.
- 25:42 Sean: “Other people have years and years of experience. I’m only 27. I don’t have that experience.” Document. We’ve talked about it before. Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Document over create.” Don’t think in terms of creating or positioning yourself as someone you’re not. Document the process of becoming the person you want to be and put that out there. People will resonate with that. Everyone’s on a journey.
- 26:14 They can follow someone else’s journey. If you don’t have enough experience, if you haven’t done the thing yet, share the process of doing the thing, mistakes and all. I want to bring in a relevant question here about attribution.
- 26:28 Sarah said, “I’m big on teaching, and I feel like I have a lot to offer. But my knowledge is composed of things I’ve figured out myself, and things I’ve gathered here and there, and stitched together. When I want to teach that, it feels like I’m ‘stealing’ authorship so I constantly credit the person I read it from. But with time, if I repeat this bit, it seems a bit forced and overkill to credit over and over. Is there authorship on knowledge? At what point does my knowledge really become ‘mine’?”
- 26:55 The rule of thumb is, if you know where something came from, if you know the person you got a message from, attribute them. Always attribute. Don’t obfuscate it, don’t try to pretend as if you came up with this on your own, don’t try and spin it, don’t try and tweak a word or two to make it sound like you didn’t get it from someone else. Yes, there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes, the things you come up with on your own will inevitably be something someone on the other side of the world came up with on their world, and that’s okay. It happens.
- 27:36 Don’t try to hide that. I try to lead by example here. I quote people—Gary Vaynerchuck and Grant Cardone are people I quote a lot. I’m trying to lead by example. If you know where you got a message from, don’t be afraid to share that. If you don’t know, don’t worry. It happens. We pick up things, we don’t know where we got them from, and it’s okay. Don’t intentionally try to hide that.
- 28:01 You’re missing out on an opportunity. You’re missing out on pointing people to other value. You’re missing out on an opportunity to build a relationship with the person that you’re quoting. When you attribute them, when you say, “I got this from this person,” you come back to that person and you say, “I followed your advice and I got these results,” that’s what people want.
- 28:24 What more do you want as someone sharing knowledge, insights, wisdom, or information, than for someone who applied it to come back to you and say, “This worked for me”? You’re missing out on all of those things.
- 28:37 Ben: There’s something a little bit more to that question, though. At some point, you take a message, and you don’t necessarily share it verbatim. You might initially, as you share it, but over time, you internalize it, and it changes and shifts to where it really does become a part of you. I guess that’s the thing I would struggle with, too.
- 29:16 Maybe your teacher in fifth grade said something really profound to you, and it’s become a mantra of yours. Over time and experience, it has shifted and changed with you. At what point do you stop saying, “My fifth grade teacher…”? I agree with what you’re saying about attribution, but it’s equally valuable to recognize the things that you have owned, made a part of you, and that you now have your own words and voice to communicate.
- 29:55 Now you can say, “This did come from me and my experience. This specific message wouldn’t exist, sure, without the influence of other people and other voices, but it wouldn’t exist without the time, work, and experience I’ve put in to arrive at this point.”
- 30:19 Sean: I would agree.
- 30:28 When I tell the story of sabbaticals, I saw a TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister. He’s a designer. He talked about taking off a year every seven years, and that inspired me. I said, “I don’t know about a year every seven years,” but it got me thinking. I thought, “Why don’t we take off more time? We take off a day a week, and this guy is taking a year off every seven years. Why not something in-between? Why not a Small Scale Sabbatical and take off every seventh week?”
- 30:57 That was my own creation. However, the seed of that idea came from someone else. It was inspiration from someone who did something similar, and whenever I tell the story, when I have time, I even credit the person giving me the seed. In my case, I would be okay to run with Small Scale Sabbaticals as something I created on my own. That’s a unique thing. It’s not something someone else did. If other people are doing Small Scale Sabbaticals and taking off every seventh week, they should attribute me.
- 31:33 That’s something I came up with. They shouldn’t say, “I decided to start doing this Small Scale Sabbaticals thing where I take off every seventh week.” You can do that. I’m not going to come after you asking for royalties. Just think about how you would feel if you put time, effort, and energy into coming up with something and sharing it and other people starting passing it off as their own. You do want to be considerate, and there is a lot of benefit that comes from attribution. Rule of thumb: if you know where it came from, attribute. If you don’t know, don’t worry.
If you know where you got a message from, attribute the person.
If something you learned from someone else turns into something different, that’s touched by you and your experience, that is your thing.
You’re Not a Small Fish in a Big Pond
- 32:11 Sean: There’s this notion of feeling like a small fish in a big pond. “It’s a big pond. I’m a small fish. There are so many people out there doing things. Who am I to put my work and my message out there? I’m just one more person.” We had a seanwes tv episode about this. You’ve got to get this through your head.
- 32:37 Most people consume. There’s a 10/10/10 effect going on. 10% of 10% of 10% are actually the creators, actually making something. Most people watch something. Maybe 10% of them will like it. Maybe 10% of those people will comment. Maybe 10% of the commenters are people who create their own videos. So few people are actually creating. It’s 10% of 10% of 10%. 0.1% of people are actually making things regularly and putting them out in the world. You are an anomaly.
- 33:30 That’s all it takes. Everyone is consuming. If you decide to produce, that’s how you’re going to be able to influence people. When you’re looking at content created online, you’re consuming content, whatever media it is, whatever form, you’re looking at what has been made by the 0.1%.
- 33:50 Ben: It seems like a lot.
- 33:51 Sean: It does!
- 33:52 Ben: What is it, thousands of minutes of video are uploaded to YouTube every second?
- 33:59 Sean: It’s crazy. You see what you see. You don’t see what you don’t see.
As soon as you flip the switch from consumer to producer, you position yourself as an influencer.
“Too Many People Already Do What I Want to Do”
- 34:14 Sean: You’re such an anomaly. If you even have the idea, the notion, the inkling that you want to put something out there, you want to put yourself out there and make something, sell something, or create something, hold onto that! Please, act on that. Do something. I beg you, put yourself out into the world. So many people are not doing it. If you even have that thought for a moment, you are unique.
- 34:42 You are special. Hopefully, you will choose in that moment to create something of your own, to put out a message or anything of your own into the world. Everyone else, 99 out of 100 other people, are thinking about how they’re going to consume next. “When I get home from work, what TV shows am I going to watch? What YouTube videos am I going to watch? What video games am I going to play? What books am I going to read?”
- 35:10 I’m not saying these things are bad. I do all of those things. It’s okay. Most people default to these states, and that’s all they ever do, for the most part. I want to encourage you.
- 35:28 You live in a bubble of awesomeness. You follow the cream of the crop, the best people in the world in your space. You’re following them. It might be 300 people, 3,000 people, or 30 people, but you follow the best of the best. Every day, you wake up and you get on these feeds. The world curates for you the very best of your industry. This was never possible before. It was never possible. People say, “Great artists aren’t recognized in their time,” but that’s done.
- 36:00 It’s over with. It doesn’t apply to today. Great artists are recognized in their time. They’re recognized very quickly because of the internet. It spreads. It’s the network effect. If one person likes something and shares it with their network, boom! It just explodes from that point. That’s how you have things going viral. Star Wars just announced The Last Jedi. Did you see that? It’s their next movie coming out. Within minutes, this thing had tens of thousands of retweets and likes.
- 36:34 Minutes. I go back, and it was 100,000 likes. Boom! Instant spreading. That’s what we do. We get on these feeds of instant spreading and virality, and we see the very best of our industry in a curated feed. We feel like, who are we to put ourselves out there? “Who am I to ever even try? Why should I try? Look at this stuff!” It is the best in the entire world.
- 37:06 Cory: It’s funny. I had this idea. It’s exactly what you’re saying—I follow the cream of the crop, the best people, and they’re all doing great things. It makes me feel like I’m not doing enough, and I almost get discouraged a little bit. What if I followed people who say, “Here’s my cat…” I’m thinking, “No, do something!” Maybe that would ignite a fire in me to create more. Sometimes I get discouraged seeing people.
- 37:32 It’s on the outside. I don’t know what these people are doing every single day with every minute and every hour, but on their feeds, they’re doing so much all the time. It’s non-stop. I’m just like, “Man, I’m not doing that.”
- 37:45 Ben: You’re talking about the cream of the crop stuff, which is up here, and bottom of the barrel stuff, but there’s all of this space in-between, too, where people are also producing, that you’re not seeing. You’re not seeing the majority of what’s out there, that is far below what you’re capable of producing, and is also far different from the way that you would say it.
If you want to put yourself out there, do it!
The 10/10/10 Effect
- 38:14 Sean: To put that in context, with the 10/10/10 effect, you’ve got all the people on Instagram, on YouTube, all the people out there. 10% of them are creating. Everything that is created is contained within this 10%. I’m talking about everything—the blurry photo, the cat, the breakfast, the shaky YouTube video with the flip phone. Everything that is created is within this 10%. The other 80% consume.
- 38:49 This is true for the vast majority of people on any platform. Let’s take Instagram, for instance. Scroll, scroll, scroll, double tap. They’re not even commenting. They’re not even posting their own thing. Other people don’t even like. You get on your Instagram and you think, “Ah, 60 likes.” Probably 600 people saw that. You don’t even realize it. All you care about is the little orange bubble. Not even everyone is posting their own stuff.
- 39:15 They’ve got some private account with no posts or whatever. 10% of people create at all, and of the things that are created, 10% may actually be good. 10% of that is great. If you’re creating something that is good, you’re automatically in the 1%. I’m not just saying, did you make something? Did you throw up anything? Did you take a photo of your shoes? Did you care at all and make something good? Did you think, “I could have done better”?
- 39:51 If so, you’re in the 1%. Does this resonate with anyone? I assume you all care. You should be leaning into this. Right now, you have a machine where you put $1 in and you get $5 out. You use the machine twice a day. What the heck is wrong with you? Why are you not just cranking out $5 from this machine? If you are creating something that’s even good, that you don’t even think is great, you’re in the 1%. Why are you not leaning into that?
- 40:59 Every single day. Why don’t you have systems built around this? Why don’t you have teams build around this? I’m on a rant. There’s just too much in this thing, so I’m going to jump to the takeaways. People in the chat said that they do care.
You are an influencer, so you should be posting something every single day.
5 Reasons to Feel Better About “Too Many People”
- 42:04 Sean: Number one, “too many people” is a good thing. If you feel like too many people do the thing you want to do, it’s actually good, because it’s market validation. What would be bad was if you didn’t know anyone doing what you wanted to do. Chances are, you’re not Steve Jobs or Apple, creating a new industry and a new market. Chances are, there’s a reason nobody’s there yet. Probably, if there was opportunity there, there would be a lot of people there.
- 42:38 Number two, there are 7 billion people in the world. We talked about this whole 10/10/10 effect. I did the math at some point. I know the numbers have gone up since, but with this bubble of awesomeness, you’ve created a pseudo-reality for yourself. What you see in your feed on a daily basis is not a representation of the world as a whole. It’s merely your own personally curated bubble of awesomeness.
- 43:05 If you do the math, if the 0.1% of people are actually creating things, you’re comparing yourself to something like 0.0000028% of the world. Those are the really prolific creators and producers. You’re comparing yourself to them instead of the 99.999% of the world. If you’re doing this, that’s good. You’re doing a good job already. The other thing is, there are 7 billion people in the world, and that number is going to 9.7 billion by 2050.
- 43:50 By 2020, I think we’re going to have two or three billion more people come online. Can you even wrap your mind around that? We have maybe five to six billion people online now. I don’t know. I think it’s above five, but I don’t know exactly. We’re talking about adding 50% or more to that. What if you took all the people online right now—the big view numbers you see, the big like counts you see on posts—what if you take half of that and add it on top?
- 44:33 That is what’s coming. You’re so early right now. People in ten years are going to be like, “You were there at the perfect time, weren’t you?” You’ll be like, “No, I took it for granted.” It’s just a shame. There are going to be a lot more people online who are older, and you have a tremendous amount of opportunity.
- 45:10 I’m not talking about how you’re an influence to your 100 followers. With zero followers, you’re an influence to people in your life right now. People are like, “Once I have 100 followers, then this is going to be worth it. Once I have 1,000 followers, then my work really matters. Once I have 10,000 followers, then I’ve actually made it.” You’re there! The reason you’re not there is because you don’t care about what you have now.
- 45:37 You’re not investing in the seven newsletter subscribers you have now. You’re not reaching out to them. You’re not meeting up with them. You’re not proud of what you’ve built so far. You’re not investing in them so they become your brand ambassadors. You don’t deserve the 10,000. Why should you get to multiply that when you don’t care?
- 45:58 Ben: It makes me want to go back to my list of a couple hundred people and really think about, “What can I do to make this time, in the history of whatever my business will become, that I won’t be able to do in the future, really special for these people?”
- 46:22 Sean: For a moment, park on this idea. How many email subscribers do you have, Cory?
- 46:29 Cory: 100.
- 46:33 Sean: How many subscribers? Put it in the chat, especially smaller numbers. It’s okay if you have more, but I want you to get some perspective here. 0, 6, 47, 35… Okay, Bethany. 47 people. In medieval times, they didn’t even have toilets. Someone back then might have known 47 people. Maybe he had run into that many people. Maybe he would see that many people at a big fancy dinner or a feast. Certainly, he didn’t have 47 people who would regularly come circle around him at the campfire and listen to what he had to say for 30 minutes or an hour.
- 48:05 He didn’t have this audience. He didn’t have this broadcast. He couldn’t send letters. If he wanted to send a message, someone had to physically carry it. Hopefully you knew how to write, or you knew someone who knew how to write, and then someone on the other end could read. It might take weeks or months. In an instant, you have 47 people, Bethany, that care about what you have to say. Do you realize how huge this is?
- 48:32 This is an incredible time that we’re living in right now. Everyone wants to multiply this number. They don’t want 47. They want 47,000. Why? What are you doing with the 47? That’s a lot of people. Have you ever been in a room with 47 people? Have you ever been in a room with 47 people who were there for you? I hope no one ever throws me a birthday party that large.
- 49:00 Laci was talking to a friend at a brunch last weekend about birthdays and stuff, and she was like, “Yeah, all Sean wants for his birthday is to be alone.” Yeah. That would be pretty great. I wanted to go on that rant, but that wasn’t even the last one.
- 49:30 That’s the thing. It’s Casey Neistat ripping open the boxes. The first time, you rolled your eyes. The second time, you were like, “I can’t believe he’s still doing this.” The third time, you were like, “Yeah, rip that box!” Push through the awkwardness until it becomes endearing. The quirks become endearments of your character and your personality. Embrace them. You have a unique voice. Use it.
- 50:01 The last thing is, there’s room. There’s room for you. There’s room for so many more people. There’s always room for someone who cares. There’s always room for quality. There’ room for you. Those are my five things. You have to consider the Magic of 7, because it takes hearing new information seven times in order to retain it. The crazy thing about this is that if you are that seventh time for someone, they’ve heard this thing six times before.
- 50:32 They’ve heard this from all the people you are afraid have said it better than you and negate the point of you even trying. They’ve heard it six times before from these other people. You say it, they hear it for the seventh time, and that is when it resonates. They will attribute the value of that thing to you. They’ll remember it as, “Cory told me this one thing.” They actually heard it from six other people years before. The seventh time, it resonated, and they’ll be like, “Cory told me this.” They’ll always attribute the value to you. When you don’t show up because someone else has already said something, you miss out on the opportunity to create “aha” moments for people when they hear something the magical seventh time.
- 51:15 Ben: In that case, other voices are a good thing. Other voices saying something similar, especially voices that are influential that you know people will hear and listen to, that’s a good thing. If you care about your message, if you believe that what you have to say or share is going to make life better for somebody else, it’s worth being the first, second, fifth, or sixth person to share that with someone. It’s worth not necessarily getting to that magic seventh time, because you want that message to get through. If you come at it with that mindset, eventually, you will be the seventh person. Eventually, you will be the one who’s attributed with that value.
- 52:01 Sean: It’s a new context, like Jordan said. “I think that most things have definitely already been said—but they can be applied in new ways every day. Think back to things philosophers said hundreds if not thousands of years ago, and they are still passed around today as new knowledge because they are seen in a new light.
- 52:20 “Think of VR/AR and automated cars. These frontiers are only beginning to be explored. Many things that are standards in other areas of life will need to be adapted and applied here. Someone needs to talk about it!” I thought that was really good. There are new frontiers, new technologies, and new things happening. You want to adapt the old to the new.
- 52:49 That’s automatically a new kind of value—applying something that you learned in a new context.
If there are a lot of people doing what you do, it’s a good sign, because it’s market validation.
You are an influence to the people in your life right now, even with zero followers.
You have your own unique voice, so lean into your weirdness, your quirkiness, and your personality.
Adapt timeless principles to something that’s relevant and contextual.
Show Up & Just Create
- 53:11 Sean: Serge was going through 30 Days to Better Writing, the course that we launched. The members are going through it. They’re sharing their progress every day. “Here’s what I wrote today, here’s what I learned, day 23, day 24…”
- 53:26 Serge said, “There are lots of very intelligent comments being made and it might be difficult to feel like you’re contributing much to the conversation, especially when you come in at a later time.” It feels like, if you don’t know as much as someone else, what’s the point of you saying anything? There are so many different angles to this that are valuable. One, other people can relate to you. The person who knows more than you is speaking at a level that doesn’t resonate with everyone.
- 54:00 If you put your voice out there, a lot of people are going to relate to you. They’re like, “I get this guy.” It helps people who know more understand how to help you when you have the courage to put yourself out there. It helps you make a commitment to take action when you put yourself out there. It helps you be more willing to follow through. It makes you more engaged. It helps you internalize the message, as well as other people.
- 54:28 You’re not going to meet people unless you put yourself out there. You’re not going to connect with people unless you engage. You’re not going to make yourself known unless you comment and put your commentary out there.
- 54:39 Ben: Think about this podcast, for example. If it was just a podcast with Sean, that was it, and he was sharing this message, it would definitely mean a lot to a lot of people. The fact that I speak up and I basically say the same thing, but in my own way, the fact that Cory speaks up and says the same thing from his perspective, the fact that when Aaron or Cory Miller happen to be on, the fact that these other perspectives and voices come in—even though they may be saying something very similar to the original message, having that other perspective, even just a few degrees different, is mentally helpful.
- 55:29 Maybe it’s that some people resonate with Sean by 60%, but they’ll resonate with me by 70%, or visa versa. That little bit of extra context helps, and that’s what you’re providing, even when you share from what you think is a limited perspective.
- 55:57 Sean: That’s really good. Even if the message you have to say is something you feel like doesn’t really matter or what’s the point, you’re discounting the perspective you’re coming from and other people’s ability to relate to you better than to someone else. Maybe someone else is a different gender, and automatically, that makes you more relatable to your gender. Maybe someone else is older or younger or more aggressive or less aggressive. Any one of the sliders automatically opens up new audiences to you.
- 56:44 Cory: Before the show started, I was saying something about how I feel like I don’t have anything original to say. Everything has been done in my industry. That’s what I feel like. I’m a filmmaker. What else can you do? How do I be different? I think I need to worry less about being so original and just play to the strengths I have, using my uniqueness in the best way that I can. “What’s everybody doing? What’s everybody not doing? Let me do more of what’s not being done.” I think I need to focus more on playing to my strengths.
- 57:40 Sean: This is really good. You’re summarizing the entire point of this episode. The person asking the question that’s the premise of the whole show is asking the wrong question. It doesn’t matter whether you know what your unique angle is, whether you think what you have to say is original, whether you think your voice matters, whether you think it’s all been said before. That’s not even the argument or the debate. That’s not even what you should be focusing on! That’s why I brought up the the 10/10/10.
- 58:10 You should be focusing on the fact that if you create anything at all, if you flip that switch from consumer to producer, you are the 1%. Lean into that! Yeah, lean into your strengths, your quirkiness, and your weirdness, but the fact that you show up and create at all, that’s what you need to lean into.
- 58:43 The whole premise here, this notion of feeling like, “Oh, I’m not original. I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said,” is all a distraction. That’s not the debate. Those are excuses! Those are things that are keeping you from starting. Starting is the thing that you should be focused on! Doing something is what you actually need to be conscious of!
- 59:06 Ben: The whole idea of being unique and putting something out there that doesn’t already exist—that’s something that has to be found on the journey of producing, creating, and putting stuff out there. You can’t wait until you figure out what that is, because you don’t get there unless you’re producing stuff. It’s funny, because I look at your stuff, Sean, and I think, “Man, I hope I can produce that quality some day. That’s what I want to work towards.”
- 59:51 You have people that you look up to, but you may not be as aware of the people who are looking up to you, who can recognize the unique value of the work that you produce. It’s easier to see that from the outside than when you’re looking right at it. I totally agree with what Sean said. Just by sharing something, because you are you, it’s inherently unique, and therefore has unique value from everything else that’s out there. That’s why it’s so important that you do share and put stuff out there. Otherwise, that would be a missing piece of the puzzle.
- 01:00:42 Cory: This episode has been really, really encouraging. Yeah, I’m a part of this small percent of the world. It got me pumped. I want to start creating more now.
When you speak up, you add context and, therefore, you add value.
Your focus right now should not be on trying to be original.
Your focus should be on showing up.