Hello, everybody! You are listening to the 13th episode of Sensibly Happy podcast. This episode is about how important are consumers and creators and how you can transform your interests into something valuable.
You have probably asked yourself: “what makes one person more successful than another?” And this is a really valid question. Because if it’s something which we can control, we can use it in our daily life and be more successful as well. I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. In this episode we are talking about creators and consumers, and why they’re both very important. Also, we will learn how to use our interests and preferences, even the weirdest ones, to create something amazing and valuable.
Our interests can be useful
In the previous episode, I showed you an idea of how we can find ourselves by collecting our atomic preferences. And, as a result of creating a picture of ourselves, we can start understanding that we are unique and that our skills and interests are not fully described by profession.
And okay, we can get used to it. But what to do with all of this? What to do with the picture of ourselves which was created out of those puzzles from those atomic preferences? Can we create something useful out of it? I believe that yes! We can convert it into something which would be appreciated by other people — even having those strange interests.
Some of our preferences or interests are really useful, while others can be weird. And, at first sight, we should hide those preferences or interests. For instance, someone can collect covers for song “Summertime”; another one may collect swear words from different movies; someone can carve wood and toy soldiers, or create patterns when spreading butter on bread. Some people like to wear only bright socks or wool socks or to step on every third tile on the floor… There are as many preferences and interests as there are people in this world. And also you have them!
Do you realize that this could be useful for some other people? Do you realize that your features and your efforts in this direction could be useful? It could sound weird for you right now, but please, continue listening to understand what I’m talking about.
Example of having weird but useful interests
The amazing example of such occupation was shown by the person who started answering spam emails. His name is James Veitch. That man was having fun by answering different spam emails. Of course, we need know that bots send those emails, but as appears, sometimes, by answering those mails, you can reach real people who stand behind those spam emails. And James started answering those emails just for fun. But, as a result, he created a lot of entertaining videos about that. He was also invited to TED Talks, and some of his videos on his YouTube channel have more than 20 million views.
And you could ask, “What’s the fun in answering the spam emails?” I recommend you to watch at least one of his videos on YouTube. You can find links in the shownotes for this episode, on www.sensiblyhappy.com . And you can see that there is a real entertainment in doing this, and even in listening stories about this.
Select and describe your main interest
Okay, I have just stated that your preferences, even weird ones, could be useful for other people. But where to start? How to start that exploration of opportunities? The first thing you should do is to select one of your interests or features which drives you the most. I mean, if you know something that you like to do, and you can do it for hours, doesn’t matter if it’s watching or listening to this, or creating something, you should describe it in details. What do I mean? You should do it as precise as you can while describing this interest.
For instance, if you like car races, you can describe what exactly you like the most in those car races. Because there are different types of races, different categories, different countries, different leagues, and so on. Also, car races take some time. But I believe that some of the moments you like the most, not everything that you watch, but some exact moments. So you should describe that in details. And you can do this with anything, not just with car races.
Another example could be – “I like communicating with others.” Okay, the next questions should be:
- With what exact people do you like to speak?
- And what topics do you like discussing the most?
- Do you like to talk, or to listen?
- What moments in a conversation do you like the most?
- Sometimes, you can be upset by the conversation? Why? What are those cases? And why do you enjoy opposite situations?
- What part in a conversation brings you the biggest pleasure?
While you’re describing interest you’ve just chosen, please, be as precise as you can! Describe in details what exactly you like and don’t like. Having that description is a good start!
You need to become a part of a community
The next step is to become a part of a community of people who have the same interests. You can say, “I’m an introvert. I don’t like communicating with others!” Or, “There is no such community! I doubt that there is one!” But stop. First of all, you should realize that the best way to have your specific feature or interest fully engaged in your life is to be a part of a community.
Creating your own community
To find the community is one way, but if you know that there is no such community, or you want to create your specific one, you can do it for sure, as I’ve done several times already.
And one of the examples: around ten years ago, I was really obsessed with the idea to do my own business. But I didn’t want to do that by myself. And at the same time, of course, I didn’t want to do that with some unknown person.
So my idea was really simple – to find two or three other people who I knew already and who want to create a business as well. And for that purpose, I’ve created a financial club. I’ve invited several of my friends into it, and we created some kind of a plan. And our plan was to get there every week and to prepare different information for those meetings.
There were two parts. One of those was theoretical where we shared different, new information about money, about marketing ideas and so on. And the second one was practical where each of us presented different business ideas. And we were able to discuss them and understand whether they were interesting from the financial perspective and whether we were ready to start such kind of business. We grew up quickly in theoretical knowledge of the business. But, at the same time, we collected two good ideas to start a new business. And we actually started one of those in several months. This example was just to show you that you can create your own communities.
But nowadays, having Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on, you can create those communities online being in different countries, in different continents! Why am I saying that? Because if your interest is a common one, you can find other people who have the same interest near you. But if you have some strange, weird interests, it would be harder to find someone in your area with the same interests. But with the Internet and social media, you have no borders!
You can be valuable by being a consumer
And now the main question of this episode: Should you be a creator, be valuable and useful for someone else? Should you create something with your hands and your creativity to be able to join some community or create your own one? No, this is a wrong point of view! I understand your fears, “I’m creating nothing. I’m no one in that sphere. How can I be useful?”
But here’s the thing. By being a good and responsible consumer, you are not less valuable than the person who creates the thing. And by being a part of a community related to the interest, you can be a part of the team which helps to create that ideal something. Again, you can use one interest or preference that drives you the most, and then use your other skills’ features to be valuable in this community.
Example of being a valuable consumer
Let’s imagine that I like fairy tales about trolls, about those ugly green creatures. In reality, I have nothing to do with trolls, but I thought it would be a good example. Imagine: I like trolls, and I want to do something with this. I cannot write those stories, because I don’t have vocabulary big enough. And I don’t have too much creativity to create such fairy tales. And I’ve already read everything I found about trolls. By joining the community which specializes in trolls, I’m widening my horizons, because there are some people out there who, most likely, have more information about such fairy tales. And they can recommend something to read.
But also, I can contribute to creating something new, some new fairy tale, because most likely, in that community, there would be one or more authors who want to write about trolls or are already writing about them.
How can I contribute to their books? First of all, I already know about some puzzles in my picture. And I know that I like to improve my skill of giving feedback. That means that after reading a part of the book which is already written, I can provide feedback which could be easily understood by the author and would not hurt his or her feelings.
The second thing about myself is that I like structures. And if in that new book I don’t see a clear structure, I can also provide feedback about that and suggest how the structure of the book could be improved.
Also, I like having fun. And often my mind generates new jokes in different situations. And some of those jokes I could suggest using in the book.
By using this example, I want to show you how selecting your main interest, for now, joining a related community, and being a consumer, I can be a valuable part of it.
What does a community give you?
But do you really need to join a community? What does it give you?
So, first of all, it gives connections. It connects you to other people who have the same interest. And this is so valuable because you know that there are other people who like the same thing, and you are not alone! And you can speak with other people about this topic and feel comfortable about it.
The second thing is drive and inspiration. By connecting with other people with the same interest, you get a real inspiration.
The third thing, you receive ideas, including business ideas. And also, you can see other people who got on the next level and where you can go next with this interest. If you saw the “Fight Club” movie, there is a clear understanding that one character has just got to know about it, but the other person already has a clear vision about what they can do with all that.
But the most important thing, that a community can be as a single entity to create something completely new and interesting for people who’ve never heard about such interest or such occupation before and who will be ready to pay for it.
What do you get from a community by being a creator?
What do you get from the community, if you’re a creator? It’s really important for you to have other people who like the same thing, the consumers. They will inspire you! It’s much better to interact with those people instead of trying to interest different people. You will get more inspiration from your community, more ideas, more positive feedbacks. And you will see people who are ready to consume your product. And every time you doubt whether you should move forward, your community will support you.
Consumer can become a creator
Here’s one tricky thing. Sometimes, the consumer can become a creator. Like those people who like to play different video games. I see that some of my colleagues are watching records from video games played and recorded by someone else. That means that those people who played and recorded those videos, they were consumers because they consume those video games. But at the same time, they created new content by playing games in their unique way.
The similar thing we can observe in the food industry. There is one TV show which is called “Man vs. Food” where each episode is about some specific restaurant that has some extra dish, it can be very big or very spicy, or something else. And it’s almost unreal, to eat that dish. And every episode is about the attempt to eat that dish by a person. Someone creates the food and the consumer who eats that food becomes a creator because it’s entertaining to see how someone tries to eat that.
Well, there are a lot of different videos about street food in YouTube where someone as a consumer goes on streets where food is being cooked, records the video of how they prepare that food and tries all that food. A consumer becomes a creator.
Community forces people to gather around their interests
Again, the main interest is the topic to gather people around. And by being unique and having your own skills’ features set, you can apply all that to activate a community!
Identifying your interests and features is a process
Should you stick to only one interest forever? I don’t think so because it’s the process of exploration! Today you think that it’s interesting for you, but then you realize that there is something else that drives you. You should be open to your feelings! And your main goal should be to understand what exactly drives you, what atomic preference, what puzzle.
But please, don’t think in terms of the profession! I want to remind you of the topic of the previous episode – atomic preference. It should be very narrow and clean. Keep searching for this and keep clarifying what your atomic preferences are!
Your task for the next week
Select your main interest for now. What drives you? Narrow this down, describe it precisely. Not in general words, but in details.
The second part is to think about searching for a community about it. Do you think it exists? Where can you find the community? Where can you find people who share the same interest?
If you think that there is no such community and Google gives you nothing about that, then the third part of the task is to think how you can create a community about it and how you can promote it to find other people like you. Believe me, by creating it, you will become happier!
And the last part, if that community exists, become a part of this community, start to communicate with people from it. But if it doesn’t exist, create a plan of how you will create that community. Describe several of your first steps.