Being Vulnerable And Accountable – Why I Chose To Start A YouTube Channel?

It’s been awhile since I have written a blog post but excited to share a very personal and social experiment that I have been working on. Oh the things that I get myself into. This all started in late March where I was discussing with another coach about a 30 day challenge. We both decided to publish 30 straight days of videos on YouTube. What I decided to document was my training for the Times Colonist 10 kilometer run in Victoria that was held at the end of April, and share my progress daily. Even though I am quite an active person, the thought of running 10 kilometers did not excite me. It’s been over four years of holding off from this race, and this was the year to do it. Of course, I set a stretch goal of completing the race in under an hour.

The parameters for the 30 Day YouTube Challenge were very simple:

  • Post a video every day and hold each other accountable.

  • Touch base every week to discuss sharing, did wells, and next times.

The idea at first, was exciting. I had just committed to this 30 day project with no idea what I would be sharing on an activity that is new to me, which is running. Then my negative self-talk, or gremlins, were in overdrive trying to sabotage this before it even happened. So many thoughts ran through my mind:

  • Why do you want to do this?

  • No one is going to care or watch the video anyways.

  • Don’t embarrass yourself and be a fool. What would my friends and family think?

I had to put those voices aside because I knew the that I was going to learn so much about myself, and about this process.

The physical training for the race was one thing, but the know how to record a video, edit, and upload it would also be a new and exciting challenge. On April 1st, I made my first declaration video of what the next 30 days were going to look like, and restate that this wasn’t an April fool’s prank. When recording that first video it was important for me to have a process, and it had to be perfect. What was I going to say and how was I going to say it? I did what I always do when trying to figure out something new, I used power of YouTube and Google. I found several teleprompter apps that will record video and well as display the content that you want to read / share with your audience. I felt like such a big player having access to a tool like this even though I was newbie. The first video had over 20 + takes for a four minute clip. The editing was simple because I did it all in one cut, which looking back is actually quite difficult to accomplish, and there was a lot of patience required. The video was uploaded, however there was still the hesitation about hitting the publish button and making it public. All of those same initial thoughts ran through my head of worry and ridicule. As I pushed the publish button, my anxiety levels were at the highest as I began to share this on Facebook and Twitter.

As I woke up the next day, I reached for my phone and noticed the comments and feedback from my friends and family were all supportive, which I honestly wasn’t expecting anything. This really helped build my confidence and push forward.

As the days progressed, my confidence in front of the camera increased, while the times to record and edit my videos were reduced. My training for the 10K race results had been improving week over week. Words of encouragement kept coming in and moving me forward. I felt like I had a large crowd behind me. There was so much positivity that helped me learn even more in so little time:

  • Watched plenty of other YouTubers to understand their format from a production perspective.

  • Using Canva to build creative YouTube thumbnails for my videos.

  • Deeper understanding of my Fitbit and my results.

  • Learning to use Adobe Premiere to create the video footage to upload to YouTube

  • Using some green screen footage, and superimposing Shia LeBeouf into my living room for a pep talk. Click Here to see one of my favourite episodes.

  • Input another video from my GoPro into another video to share the experience on my run and the surroundings.

  • Using Mobizen, an app that records your smartphone’s screen with audio to demonstrate how I use my Fitbit and gather my results.

  • Learning YouTube and TubeBuddy applications to help bring my video to life and increase viewership.

My vision for these videos were to be authentic and real. The physical effects of running 10k every three days will wear on your body, and sharing the hard work and effort required was important. These types of physical challenges are not supposed to be easy, and wanted to capture my physical and mental emotions during the process. There were many days that I wanted to throw in the towel and just relax but, I continue to train and stretch myself further.

Race day came up quickly and it was also the grand finale for my 30 day YouTube Challenge. My nerves and anxiety were running high as I wanted to ensure that I could my 10K goal of less than an hour. Since, I had run the course several times I felt confident. Being my first race, seeing people run past me was psychologically tough because I felt slow, and the worry about telling my YouTube viewers, friends, and family that I didn’t reach my goal. Well, I am glad that I didn’t have to worry about that. I finished the race with a time just less than 55 minutes, and cut 15 minutes from my first trial run. I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with emotions. I DID IT and was excited to share the good news.

My first YouTube channel had 913 views, and a total watch time of 37.5 hours, which was mind blowing to me. I would have never thought that there would be that much interest and support in a goal that I had.

Why did I feel that it was important to share my story with you?

The biggest take away that I took from this experience was that it was okay to make mistakes and be vulnerable. I tried some things that didn't work. I also tried things that I thought weren't going to work and of course they did. The important thing was that I put the effort and tried it out. It's too easy to be standing on the sidelines and waiting. Jump and enjoy the ride!There are many things that we want to do in life and struggle to commit. Make the time to action on them. At first, a 30 day challenge may seem like quite a bit of time and effort, but it’s not forever. The lessons that you are going to learn about yourself are going to be invaluable, and a year from now that month will seem like such a short time. Live a life of learning and not a life of should have, would have, could have mentality. Just do it!

Here are some questions to think about?

  • If you could do one thing over the next 30 days, what would it be?

  • What has been holding you back?

  • What support do you require? Is it as simple telling someone?

Being a leadership advisor and executive coach, it is about working through the tough stuff and seeing the prize at the end of the road. It’s never easy, but that is also part of a great reward. If you are looking to do a deeper dive into a potential 30 day challenge, please let me know and glad to help and support.

As always, your yellow brick road awaits you!

If you would like to check out the YouTube channel here. Listed below are some of my favourite episodes:

Day 1 - This is not an April Fool's Prank

Day 15 - It's Okay to Slow Down - New Record

Day 27 - I Need Some Motivation - Special Guest - Shia LeBeouf

Day 30 - It's Race Day Baby

Thanks for your continued support and there is more to come!

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