‘Remember Why You Started’ Isn’t For All Creators
Let’s normalize looking forward instead of looking back.
I hate the term remember why you started. When I started writing online, I was in a very dark place. I used to check my bank account every day, decline invitations from friends, and mostly just hoping this dark period of my life would go away.
When things don’t work, many so-called gurus of Content Creation use the cliche advice of “remember why you started” as potential motivation to help new creators push forward. And for someone like me, the ask essentially means remembering one of the terrifying periods of my life.
No, thank you.
In this article, I want to explore why that doesn’t work and how we can do better.
Some Of Us Started Because of Money
I hate to break it to you, dear guru, but if you think all content creators have some spiritual goal behind their content creation journey, you’re wrong.
Some of us want to make some more income. It’s as simple as that.
66% of all US undergraduates in 2015–16 had student debt. The life of unhealthy people elsewhere isn’t glamorous either.
Is it any surprise to find many creators starting to offer services or making content because they want to make extra income?
What Can We Do Better: Instead of focusing on why we started, let’s focus on our relationships with the people who engage with our content. People buy from people. You can either represent a shop they peruse or a friend they buy from confidently. It’s all based on your level of engagement.
All Creators Evolve — ‘remember why you started’ is Meaningless
One of my core values, in the beginning, was to offer a stunning visual reading experience to anyone who visits my blog.
I wanted the font to be just right, the spacing to be exact, and for the entire article to look great.
As time went by, I understood it was way more important to invest time in the actual words I wrote and how they flow together instead of their presentation on screen.
When you ask me to go back to my core values, you essentially ask me to discard my growth.
What Can We Do Better: Instead of “going back” and discarding growth, we as creators should learn to research our behavior. It’s way harder — but much more effective.
In other words, ask yourself why something doesn’t work instead of discarding the path you chose and trying something else.
The Question of Consistency And Impatience
Many creators, myself included, are simply impatient.
We want results right here and now. And we can’t have them because that’s not how the world works.
And yet, so-called gurus do not ask you how long you have been sticking to your desired path.
When you publish only 5–10 articles on your blog, you can’t expect people to sign up to your email list.
When people don’t know when your next blog post will be, you can’t expect them to follow you.
When you publish on social media sporadically, and without a plan, you can expect to have thousands of followers. It simply doesn’t work like that.
What Can We Do Better: Many creators think that the usual way people succeed on the internet is by becoming overnight successes. Even if the only thing you do is accept that this idea is false, you’re already doing better than most.
But if you do want to do better than “remember why you started,” start with a plan. Think about checking it with yourself after 100 blog posts, or Instagram posts, or YouTube videos. Until you have enough content, you don’t have enough data to measure your success.
Stick to consistency and patience and get the content out there. It will do wonders for your journey.
In this article, we talked about why “Remember why you started” isn’t for every creator. It’s an outdated idea that romanticizes the content creation journey.
We also talked about why going back to your “core values” is also wrong. By ‘going back,’ you discard growth. We continuously evolve and learn, and our core values evolve with us.
And finally, we talked about consistency and impatience. It’s safe to say that many creators don’t invest enough time and energy into their dreams. Becoming overnight successes isn’t the normal way content creators thrive, and you shouldn’t expect it to happen to you.
I hope this article gave you some confidence that even if things don’t look as bright as you want them to look, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You need to push through and evaluate your growth once you reach your content goals.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!