I have big goals for myself, but I try to measure my progress day by day instead of looking at the big picture. The big picture is overwhelming. For example, for the last three years, I’ve known I wanted to launch another company, but I didn’t have an idea. Or I had an idea that couldn’t grow big enough. Or I had a great idea but the investors wanted me to relocate. There was always a problem.
This is a picture of where I sulk when I feel overwhelmed. (It’s actually also the music room, and I get so frustrated forcing my kids to practice, that the room is already sort of a torture chamber, so I figure why fill another room with sulking karma when I have already ruined this one?)
But on good days, I measure my progress with three questions:
1. Am I attempting some sort of new way to make money? (You are never going to have a new way to make money if you don’t try a new way to make money and actually DO it.)
2. Am I paying back Matthew? (Every time I had a failed attempt at making money, I borrowed money from the farm bank account.)
3. Am I forcing myself to look for something that will scale? (I’m most comfortable leading a team and you can’t lead a team if you don’t need a team.)
Those questions drove me to lots of experiments with video.
I spent a year flying back and forth to New York making videos about career advice for people who said they were geniuses at developing YouTube channels. For the record, almost no one is a genius at this. Even Machinima has a roster of YouTubers with millions of subscribers (SkyDoes Minecraft has 5 million subscribers!) and they still had to do layoffs because they can’t make money from YouTube.
But I’m glad I tried a lot of video stuff because it feels better to try stuff that ends up being stupid than not trying anything at all. Feeling stupid is a good indicator of progress if your goal is to learn.
I learned that people who say they know how to make money on YouTube are mostly shysters. And I learned that I can do 20 three-minute career advice videos in two hours. I only stopped for water and lipstick.
Those videos were mostly lame. And I threw them all out. Except this one.
Hey, did you like that video? Because I’ve done a bazillion videos that are similar to that over at my company Quistic.com. Some of the ones that feel really similar to this one: