Social Media use cases
Social Media becomes what you intend to use it for.
- If you merely seek entertainment or have lousy self-discipline, the scroll of doom will keep you hypnotized for hours.
- You can use it to build a personal brand with [insert platform where your audience lives here].
- You can “productively procrastinate” by utilising it to learn about UX design, coding, or how to make digital drawings with bite-sized Procreate tutorials on Tiktok.
There are really no restrictions or limitations as to what you can do.
For my daily dose of entrepreneurial motivation and a mindset fix, I consume, amongst others Gary Vee’s content. One day in 2018, I left a comment under one of his videos, praising him for being “the dad I wish I had and everyone needs”.
A stranger left a friendly reply on my comment. I went over to his profile to see what he was working on.
How to be a video creator
I ended up on the Instagram account of a young, hungry and hustling video creator.
At the time, this Dutch boy named Justin had a mere 200-something followers. Giving his profile a quick scroll, I noticed he had just started, but was producing quality content at an unattainably high rate.
He refurbished a garden shed and turned it into a production studio, added a backdrop, some studio lighting, and bought a cam and a mic. He taught himself how to video edit. His Instagram videos were one minute long but highly informative, always ending with “Think about that”, inviting viewers to engage in discussion. In the caption he further encouraged people to share their opinions.
The goal was to get a different view or angle compared to his, and learn from people themselves by getting insights into how they think. He offered people a free, safe space to share their thoughts and start a discussion, also and especially when they disagree with him.
He published nearly daily, wherein he shared his findings and thoughts on topics he dove deep in, but knew nothing about before.The videos could be about anything. I noticed science and technology as recurring subjects.
Maybe “only” 30–40ish videos were online when I “discovered” him. I found it hard to keep up with his output, even as a watcher. When I came across his content, he hadn’t been at it for that long. What was obvious, was that he was attacking the video creator path with all he had.
The Growth Stage
His consistent practice paid off. The quality of his videos gradually improved. His follower count exploded and made it up to 30K plus.
Every day I expected his face to show up on my feed. When he started showing up less than normally, I did notice. Two years in, his output stagnated. Apparently he had burnt out and seemed to question the path that he was on.
That was something I didn’t expect. He appeared resolute on his path and in his approach to reach his goals. He spoke of having a Netflix show one day, living in a creative environment with other creators in a shared space.
He caught up on himself and I started seeing his well-edited and educative videos on my feed again.
This year I noticed a longer period of silence. The follower count on his Instagram was dropping by the thousands. After all, there was nothing new to consume for a while now.
I was surprised to read the caption underneath his latest post, which up to now is also the last. He announced that he is fully stepping away from video creation.
When I read the post, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Had he continued on this path of hardcore video creation, I have no doubt that he would have accomplished his goals. He was well on the way.
But he changed his mind. I think this is such a brave thing to do. Unafraid of public “backlash”, he shared his decision, how he looks back on the journey, and what is next to come.
It made me think about my own journey, and question whether I might be holding onto aspirations that I no longer want to pursue.
Knowing when to pivot is for the self-aware
When you commit to something publicly, people are watching to see if you follow through and stick to your word. Some are eager to see you fail, so they feel better about not taking action on their own dreams and aspirations. People start “expecting” to see a certain type of content. They might even feel entitled and complain when you change things up.
The whole thing of going against the grain, is not merely to rebel, or do things for the sake of doing things differently. It’s to experiment and hereby get closer to what it is you want to do in this life.
I think it is a massive strength and a sign of deep self-awareness to decide when a chapter of your life ends. When it is “enough”. To say: “I’ve done this, it was awesome, but it’s time for something new”. To not stick to how you’ve done things, just because you’re afraid of what critics might say.
I’ve been quietly observing this young man’s journey as a mere bystander and watch him develop. I admire all that he has accomplished at such a young age.
I wouldn’t dare call this piece “The Rise and Fall Of” because I know Justin will be back and I’m curious to find out what he is working on behind the scenes.
If he hits this secret project with the same amount of blind dedication and raw persistence, this might just be the one that ends up on that Netflix show, and I’ll be ready to watch it.