This is going to be a terribly long post. The video itself is 55 minutes. I hope you have time to enjoy it!
Below is a copy and paste of all the notes I put together for this first ever retrospective and revenue report.
See the March Revenue Report here:
NOTES for Youtube video (RAW AND UNCUT):
stats for 31 days
OK. where are we headed in this LONG ass vlog – RADICAL TRANSPARENCY – wanna give you everything. so to help you guys know where i’m headed here we go:
– video stats – how much video content i’ve created
– social stats – how my social presence has increased and some tips on each.
– youtube analytics – what really matters… but i don’t track it that closely right now
– earnings – how much money i’ve made so far!
– Major learnings from the past 31 days of creating video
– summary and improvement opportunities for next month (i’m going to roll up the numbers to the end march, so i can start in april fresh, so the data will be off a bit for march… but that’s ok. it’s still the beginning. as data sets grow it all normalizes out anyway.
LET’s hit the data first! stay tuned for major learnings after the data dump!
– 64 videos for publish
– 16 vlogs
– 6 really crappy introduction videos
– 6 epic gaming rig builds + 1 video of the winner ORIGINPC
– 1 weekly retrospective (that I quit doing)
– 3 random game uploads (1 of which was my first voice over with green screen ever).
– 2 car videos
– 29 game reviews
– 1 unbox video (first ever)
– 22 unlisted videos between private parties
– 6 – the number of C-level executives from gaming companies i’ve talked with on the phone about what i’m doing.
– 2 – the number of news reporters i’ve talked on the phone about potentially doing a story on my life change.
– 1 – the number of cross-promotion in a podcast by a trusted long time friend Dave Prior
– 17 – the number of brand new technology, computer hardware, and video forums joined. – these have been SO integral to accelerating my learning skills
– 164 – the number of posts i’ve made in these forums, some of them being ridiculously long and hard questions (screenshot)
– 29 – the number of new youtube video content creators that i follow and (try my best) to watch religiously.
– 15 – the average number of comments i post on other content creator videos per day
– 30 replies
– 8872 – the starting number of twitter followers, as of today it’s 8830. i’ve lost over ~120 followers but gained more new (gamer twitter followers). i don’t mind losing followers, especially if they aren’t into gaming. i expected this
– IG grew from 0 to 12. i don’t think i’ll keep doing this… i’m not finding it… useful within my workflow nor interesting enough for me to keep going… you guys tell me if i’m wrong here. i just don’t have enough data to make an informed decision on it just yet.
– Feb 2017. Welcome to Facebook. I opened up a Facebook page. yes. i have a Facebook right now. and it took me almost 2 weeks (14 daggum days!) to get it opened completely! i had to go through so many security issues and flags that FB didn’t think i am who i am, etc. i had to get verification… they unlocked my account, then i’d get locked out again for another issue. it’s was almost as if the system was saying to me: “you’re just joining Facebook right now? where the hell have you been? you can’t be who you say you are!”
– 120 – the number of subs on my medium account – though this isn’t fair as i’ve had a medium for a while. not tracking this as a data point that matters to me as of now
– 55? – the number of blog posts i’ve made about each video. (screenshot). – let’s talk agilescout. let’s talk patterns. let’s talk about content generation. let’s talk about the value of content over time. FUCK!
– 130 youtube subscribers – this is actually the number i care the least about. too bad youtube puts it right in your face when you enter into your publishing account dashboard. what is nice about this though, is that it’s such a persistent number in your face, that i’ve essentially allowed it to become part of the background in my thinking. this number means very very little to me. i frankly, think that this is the WRONG metric to care about. view time, engagement, quality content is far superior to this number. so you probably won’t hear me talk too much about it. i don’t even remember what vlog i did talking about it. not important.
So let’s talk about the stats that really matter to me…
– view time – 4:31 MY BEST – OriginPC purchase
– avgs avgs aves. – 4:10 – this is what i care about the most!
– youtube – $13.25
– amazon – $23.11
Major Learnings over the last 30 days:
**remember guys, i’m giving away my entire playbook, so the benefits of such a playbook are that you pretty much have to watch every day and look for several things:
– patterns of change within my social presence.
– the incremental changes from one video type to another.
– trust me, if you watch them in sequential order, you’ll see the vast incremental improvement.
– some of the changes are so quick and so subtle, that it’ll take some detective work to see how things have changed over time. staying tuned daily certainly helps.
let’s use an example: my introduction. as i became more comfortable (still not comfortable yet), but as I become more comfortable, i’m finding a voice and a cadence to my speech that works for me. my original introduction was me essentially shouting “whats up whats up youtube youtoooooooob!” – then i realized, that not only is this kinda annoying, but i’m going to be publishing to various mediums, not just youtube. so calling out only one platform didn’t make sense.
let’s do another example: game reviews.
– take a look at my first game reviews. i just jumped right in. and recorded myself playing the first 15+ minutes of the game. i learned quickly that:
1 – i couldn’t keep the time. so i changed that, and bought an egg timer to keep me to 15 minutes or thereabouts
2 – my footage wasn’t compelling. it was boring – so started watching videos on screenplays and script writing. how can i create a better more compelling video to watch? a video with a narrative. a video with a story. a video with a purpose. even now, my videos still suck. BUT, they are far better than my first couple of game reviews.
– cannot go the road alone. LFM! – i put out on blast to my family, my friends, my colleagues, my extended network, my clients. i told everyone i could possibly tell in the most broad way possible. what happened was very interesting. i found a select few to be very powerful assets to help me grow. i got tons of emails of support. and i got over 200+ (and growing) cheap ass congratulations from that crappy social network called linkedin.com – i love how when i changed my career, it auto populates in other peoples feed that i “changed my job.” for most, they jus push a button and it tells me “congrats on the job change!” something cheap like that. only a fraction of people actually looked at what i’m doing and wrote me a personal message. i appreciated that a ton because.. if i remember correctly. the first 80 or so were bland generic “congrats you fool you dun changed your career.” lol! but again, the point is that the select few that have seen this as something powerful in their lives have been so instrumental in helping me stay encouraged in this life experiment. thank you guys out there. you know who you are! paul, kris, scott, danny, jleekun, cory, cassie,
– gotta give my bro a special shout out here. he has been my #1 cheerleader in this whole legendary quest. always supplying me with not only the freshest news that i haven’t picked up on yet, but also giving me advice almost daily. he’s also one of the best critics i have. if i remember correctly in my second book i published, in my forward and dedication section. i dedicated it to my wife, but also my brother who “is never impressed with me.” <— this isn’t a bad thing. my bro is never impressed with me. and that has been a negative thing in my past with my relationship with him… but today it’s probably the most priceless thing i could have in my life with this experiment. nothing i do is good enough. and he knows that. i know that. but he’s willing to tell me every day what i’m doing needs improvement. i don’t see this as a bad thing. i see this as something that helps me excel at being even better. in my younger years i used to resent it. but now, it’s the most precious jewel i got in this. holla!
– the faster i execute the faster i learn – EXECUTE TO LEARN BITCH!
– do not worry about perfection up front. no need to spend too much time setting things up. it just takes too long. the majority of the learning happens in the experiment or the execution itself.
– the learning can only be truly understood after retrospecting through the finished product (or the day). which is why the daily vlogs have been so helpful. these daily vlogs are a forcing mechanism to intentionally THINK about what I did and how to improve it.
– i learned that with all my expertise in organizational systems, complex systems thinking, my scientific background, my expertise in startups and technology… VERY LITTLE of that experience or expertise was transferable over to my new endeavor. i had to go back to basics. THE VERY BASICS = very small incremental planning. execute. review. ship it. retrospective. these basics are the only things that have been able to help me grow so rapidly. none of those self help books or any of that were worth a damn. when you don’t know what you don’t know, no book is going to help you.
– pivots man. pivots. let’s talk about dem pivots! – most of my pivots came from the daily retrospectives and daily vlogs. shipping product allowed me to see what was working and what wasn’t… and even more powerful were the realizations of WHY things weren’t working. it’s a fascinating thing to see a product AFTER it has shipped. let me walk you through a great example:
– my first real unboxing video of the razor naga hex v2. it took me about 2 hours to get all the video i needed for that 6 minute clip. it took me about 11 hours of post processing to get it all done. GAWD. what a FUN but very exhausting experience! after putting together all the clips, the cuts man, the cuts! making sure we got all the views right and angles, and lighting, and post processing (lighting)… i’m realizing that’s even more powerful than getting the lights just right in the beginning. … here’s my point. after ALL that work. it looked EFFING fantastic. i loved it. i can remember watching it when it finally felt “done.” i watched it. with a HUGE smile on my face. man! nothing feels better than seeing your own hard work in a tangible fashion. i mean, i created it. i did ALL the work. every single second of that video that you see is pure sweat and hard work. … and then i watched it again. and again. and again. then … what was essentially 13 hours of pure hard work… turned into garbage… the more i watched the video the more i started seeing all the flaws in the shipped product:
– color contract of my shirt against background
– you can see my chair sticking out in the bottom left corner
– you can see wires on the right side
– you can see an extra light on the top right side
– the TOP camera shakes because the pole holding it up is smashed against the table and when the table shakes… so does it.
– my head gets cut off a bit at the top from the main shot
– i repeat myself too many damn times
– i come off as too buddy buddy. you can clearly see i’m not confident doing the video (first try)
– you can see the wrinkles in the background screen more clearly in 4K than in post processing at 1/4 resolution quality
– and on and on and on.
what was my 30 day magnum opus, became my internal shame. you’ve probably heard that we are our worst critics. and certainly i’m my worst enemy any day of the week. but what was my crowning achievement during these past 30 days became a bane and a shame in my head. i tore it apart. i even thought of pulling the video down. but no. it’s documentation of the truth. the truth of what i’m trying to do. i’m trying my very best to show you guys #radicaltransparency, so you can not only see what i’m shipping, but the quality of it. and… in due time i’ll improve.
but this brings me to a very important point that i want to make sure you guys are aware of as you embark on your own journey and experiments. do not let your inside critic screw you over to quit. gawd. just watching my first video ever made me wanna quit. it’s so bad. so bad. i’m overly excited, i don’t have my mind right, and well… shit. i guess i just shipped what i had. but again, don’t let your inner demon destroy your effort and hard work. i can look at all those improvement opportunities as things that keep me from greatness… or i can document them and do it better next time. remove those problem areas. incrementally improve.
guys… i have to be honest. it took me 3 full days to even execute on my first unboxing. i made up excuses to not do it. i “found” other things to do with my time. i got caught up with other less pressing things. i was actually a bit fearful of it. reason being. if you remember, i did a mini experiment with a 2.5 minute clip. that took me 5 hours to produce. i already knew how long it would be to complete a real one. i knew about how much work it would take… and… my 2nd experiment… blew up in my face. i lost all my work after i recorded another experiment with a mountain dew drink.
so understand my position: i had done 2 experiments. one took me 5 hours to do from beginning to end. it was super fun, but there were so many things to improve on. then my second experiment, after about… 2 hours of filming, my computer blew up and i lost everything. so the weight on my shoulders to actually jump in and do one “for real” was daunting. i was anxious. i don’t mind failing. i just hate (what i consider) wasting time. i don’t mind if time is used in execution. but doing work and having NOTHING to learn from except the fact that i should “save more often” is pretty depressing. so… i had to overcome my own little demon there… and just knock that shit out. oh man, it was fun tho…
– final learning summary – HARD WORK, PERSISTENCE and DEDICATION to your craft
this much i know guys to be 100% true. there is no replacement for hard work. your hard work, disciplined lifestyle, and persistence to never give up will win you the day. i can say this with complete confidence because that’s exactly what i’ve done, over and over and over again.
– from my failed startups. my successful startups.
– from my own personal goals i’ve set
– to this new experiment.
you can buy books that will help you learn anything. you know this already. but there is no substitute for hard work. that’s all there is to it. you can buy a book from any self-help author out there. they’ll give you tips, techniques, methods, frameworks, models, and platitudes of how it all works tighter to make you awesome… but what they often won’t say is simply this:
– the models and techniques they give you will ONLY work if you persist in using them over a long period of time. it is the time+experience=learning that will prove to be the only formula for success.
Also published on Medium.