Lately there's been a lot of talk in society about "burnout", and I think a lot of us are looking at it the wrong way.
Burnout is when a famous (usually) YouTuber, Instagram influencer, etc. stops posting content because they're stressed out and exhausted — a.k.a. "burnt out".
Don't get me wrong: I totally believe burnout is real. I have no doubt influencers get over-worked and stressed out, but I think there's a simple reason why: they aren't doing what they love to do. Nothing else.
What can we learn from those who don't burn out?
I've noticed a few key things about huge content creators that consistently post massive amounts of content and never complain about being over-worked (Gary Vaynerchuk, PewDiePie, Linus Sebastian, and plenty others):
1. They love what they do (they'd do it even if they didn't get paid to).
PewDiePie and his few video editors push out a completely new and original video on YouTube every single day.
It's easy to say: "of course PewDiePie doesn't get burnt out, he's making millions of dollars every year from YouTube monetization alone!" ... but that argument doesn't play out.
Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie's real, but lesser known name) has been making videos since he first could afford a video camera and computer. He worked at a hot dog stand just to cover his living expenses, and he loved life at the time... because it meant he could do what he really wanted to do: just make YouTube videos.
... I think a large part of that "I just want to make YouTube videos" spirit lives on in PewDiePie today, and that's why he isn't getting tired of doing it... he's just doing what he loves to do.
2. They don't focus on posts that will get lots of views, likes, shares, etc.
A lot of influencers make content that they know will get them lots of views and/or likes... not necessarily content that they want to make.
And once they find out how to "hack" the system to get lots of views/likes... they love the results, so it becomes all they do.
To me... doing something that you don't want to do... day after day... week after week... month after month... does not sound like a sustainable system — it sounds like a disaster.
People like Gary Vaynerchuk and his team do quite the opposite. They post videos that they think/know will be valuable to their audience...
3. They focus on their community, not their distribution platforms.
Long-term successful creators are building communities of people that like and trust them, not content that satisfies distribution platforms.
Take the following 2 situations for example: which is more stressful?
- You work very hard to create a lot of content every day... but you know that at any second, a small change in something that you have no control over can destroy almost everything that you've ever worked for...
- You work very hard to create a lot of content every day... and you have a community of people that will like, support, and follow you no matter what happens...
... I hope the answer is obvious.
All communities are based on one thing: relationships between human beings... and successful creators (that I believe will continue to be successful in the long-term) are platform-agnostic — they primarily build relationships with the people that watch them, not content machines that satisfy algorithms.
The cure for burnout
How do you get tired of doing something that you truly love doing?
I believe creators are getting burnt out because they aren't doing what they really love doing.
My "cure" for burnout is very simple:
- Do what you love.
- Bring value to your community.
And those 2 things cannot be mutually exclusive.
If you're doing something that you love to do and you build a community around it that will support you no matter what... you can't fail.
But let's be real... what about money?
I get it. To be a successful "influencer" (or whatever we may call them in the future), you need the views. You need the likes. You need the shares. You need attention! You need to make money!
I'm not saying that creators shouldn't optimize content for algorithms and platforms at all.
I'm not saying that they shouldn't sell and/or promote products.
I am saying is that they should never do it at the expense of being themselves and creating real value for their community. I believe view/like/optimization should be on a creator's mind, but it should not be the first thing on the list.
... no amount of views, likes or money will ever make someone like or trust you more (and if it does, then it's usually for all the wrong reasons).
But doesn't "just doing what you love" mean making less money?
Yes. Probably. At least in the short term.
If you do what you love instead of what gets the most view and likes and shares... you will also probably make less money. You will also severely stunt your growth (especially at first)...
But: who cares?
The bottom line is: If you're getting burnt out, you're doing it wrong.
The focus should be on health and happiness, not superficial performance indicators. Don't you think?
Thank you so much for reading my blog post! Are you doing something that you just love doing? Are you sharing it with the world? Are you making a living off of it? I want to know! Share your passion in the comments below!
Have a fantastic day and remember to eat lots of healthy, whole foods!