Why Becoming An Amateur Is Better Than Being A Professional
It took me way too long to launch my personal YouTube channel, and mostly, that’s because I became my own worst enemy. I hate to admit it, but I wasted way too much time trying to optimize every single aspect of the process.
Eventually, my desire for optimization led to outright perfectionism. If it didn’t reach my unrealistically high expectations, I would either rework it or throw it out. This habit started off small, at first, then it devolved into a full-blown obsession.
And thus, I waited months for putting out my first real piece of content due to perfection and over-optimization.
So how did I reach the point of actually getting anything of substance done and publishing my first real piece of video content?
I finally said fuck it and just made the damn thing on the spot. No optimizing. No perfection. Just go for it and hope for the best.
It wasn’t great — actually it was downright amateurish. It lacked many of the professional-grade qualities you see in videos from veteran creators. However, it was exactly what I needed.
I did what many failed to do — and that’s getting started!
We All Have To Start Somewhere
Perfectionism is the silent killer of many goals. While many people preach the need for high-quality, there needs to be an acknowledgment that becoming an amateur can be just as good. As creatives and creators, we all have had to start from square one. Through practice, time, and continuous effort, our ability to create improve exponentially.
Let’s be honest — being an amateur sucks. You’re stuck creating things that constantly do not feel good enough while witnessing everyone create amazing work. It can feel like you’re the one doing something wrong and that your efforts are going nowhere.
On top of that, there is that constant fear of criticism. Content is more than just a product — it’s someone’s baby. When people dedicate hours of their day to their passion, it can be difficult to accept criticism. That dreaded fear of negativity is a constant hurdle that many amateurs must face to grow better. Unfortunately, it’s often the greatest hurdle that stops people from elevating past amateurship.
Find Your Audience
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
Here’s the thing:
Content, like, art is subjective, not objective.
There’s an audience for everyone and that’s the goal. The key to becoming a professional is to find the audience that accepts you as a beginner. Over time, you’ll build the habits, skills, and systems that will you to create the professionalism you look up to.
With time, you will become that professional and you can inspire beginners and amateurs that were once in your position.
Progress Is Stil Progress
Time and time again, I would create content expecting it to fail and patiently waiting for the critics to roll in. Like vultures feeding on a corpse, I expected them to murder any hope of my skills growing. That my passion was all for not and that would I never be as good as my veteran peers.
Funny thing is that never happened. In fact, I have received much positivity and inspiration for my work. As a writer, I too have struggled with imposter syndrome and its crippling effect on my confidence. However, you always have to remind yourself, that yes, there is somebody out there that loves and respects your work. You most likely won’t find them on your first few attempts, but with time, you will find those that can help push past that boundary of being the beginner.
While everyone dreams of going viral, only a small percentage of content creators actually achieve this elusive goal. For the vast majority of us, we have to figure it our own. And honestly, that’s for the best.
Instead of waiting for a one-time viral magic ticket to take you to the top, hone your craft. That extra time you spend enhancing your skills, your marketing, and your self-worth, can take you much further than a fortunate push.
When the virality fades away, they will be back where they started. Their audience is fleeting and will often disappear when the next trend comes along. However, if your skills are growing alongside you, you will achieve something much greater.
You will earn the right to call yourself a true professional and inspire those that believed in you from the beginning.
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Dayon Cotton writes dope articles about social issues, life lessons, and advice on how to live a better life.