July 22, 2023

My First Hurdle

My First Hurdle

I got on Twitter about 10 weeks ago.

The inspiration came from Dan Koe. This video

It hooked me. The way Dan spoke about his ideas vibed with me so deep.

He convinced me it was possible to build an audience around my interests.

To be yourself, accumulate knowledge and skills, share them, and grow.

To solve your own problems in public, and sell the solution.

Excitement overtook me.

I'd always struggled with taking consistent action, but recently, I'd gotten much better. I learned about the mechanisms holding us back and made change.

That was my offer to the world. I knew others struggled too.

It was time to take to Twitter.

To put myself out there and help others struggling with the same problems.

The ones I had the solution to.

Twitter

And so it began. I:

  • Downloaded Twitter (yes, I'd never used it before).
  • Created a profile (did my best).
  • Followed Dan Koe.
  • Looked through Dan's following list.

I was looking for people with similar interests.

People sharing life altering world views. People with dissected ideas like mine, but better.

This is where I hit my first speed bump. Not quite the hurdle in the title, but still something.

I struggled to find them. I was looking for people sharing insights on behavioral change and habits.

People that had my dream audience. Experts who I could learn from and network with.

I didn't look super hard, but definitely struggled.

There was one avatar I had no problem finding.

The personal brand strategist.

The Twitter growth coach.

I didn't think much of it. I followed some people and moved on.

Newsletter weekly, a couple tweets daily.

The Premise

There's two basic content pillars I see for building a personal brand.

  1. The solution(s) you've already found.
  2. The problems you're working through, the things you're trying, and what works.
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As you solve your current #2, it becomes another #1. That's what makes you you, and gives authority over time.

I had #1.

My #2 became "How to get eyeballs on my content".

Pretty natural progression I'd say. Everybody has this as their #2 near the start. I had valuable knowledge and insights, but I didn't have anybody who cared.

That was the current problem I needed to work through and solve.

I absorbed what I could. Tips and tricks on writing, engagement, networking.

You're all familiar with this.

All those brand strategists and growth coaches I had no problem finding... they came in handy!

The 10 weeks go by, and we arrive at last week.

The Realization

I wondered why content was getting harder to come up with.

I felt like I didn't have anything else of value. I'd shared it all. My enitre #1. Sure, I can reuse and reword, but something was wrong.

Why was I struggling?

I revisited the philosophy that convinced me to start: "Solve your own problems, sell the solution."

I had to remind myself. What was my #2?

Ahh yep. Growing on Twitter.

It was my #2 that was lacking. Well, not lacking, but the sharing of it. I didn't want to share. I was being stubborn, but I didn't know why.

With more thought it started to make sense.

I didn't want to be a growth coach. I didn't want to be a personal brand strategist.

I hated solving the problem. I'm still doing it, but it's not fun. I'm not passionate about it.


Everybody has something unique to share at the start. A solution to a different problem.

But we all converge. We are all faced with the same problem that needs solving.

Eyeballs.

As a personal brand, we need to share how we are evolving.

Yea, I'm evolving. Yes, I'm learning how to grow. Yes, people behind me need help with it. Yes, I could help them as I learn.

But I don't want to.

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There's nothing wrong with growth coaches. We all solve problems and sell the solution to the target audience that wants it. "Money Twitter" is a perfect place to sell that solution. The demand is insane. It's not for me.

The Subconscious Transition

We are what we consume right?

I know I'm not alone in this. Everybody experienced the same thing I did when they started. (If you started around the same time as me).

So may personal brand strategists to follow. Your entire Twitter community and experience centered around this idea.

Before you know it, that's all you're consuming.

Before you know it, you've stopped pursuing your original interest.

Progress in that domain stops, and you become what you consume. Another personal brand strategist. The journey you embarked on and solve.

That's the inevitable transition for me. I was heading down a path I didn't love.

Now we arrive at today.

My Path Forward

Okay, so I don't wanna be a growth coach or personal brand strategist.

Cool, but now what?

What am I?

If my personal brand evolves as I do, how do I evolve?

This is where I was for a few weeks. Stuck wondering where I'm heading.

Doubt creeps in. What's the point...

Then it clicked.

Remember the two content buckets I mentioned earlier?

I realized you can have more than one #2!

Not only that, but your #1 should also be a #2:
Continue pursuing and deepening your understanding of your initial problem.

Beyond that, while learning how to grow on Twitter, start learning something else.

A hard skill?

I spoke with @GregLunt27 on a Twitter Space and he said something that stuck with me.

I don't wanna misquote him, but the gist of it was the following...

He said tons of people start on Twitter and the only thing they talk about is self-improvement. He said there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, in fact it means you're on the right track. He followed that up by saying it's not where the vast majority will end up.

It resonated with me. That's exactly how I started. It makes sense.

The reason we decided to make a Twitter profile in the first place was to better our lives by helping others.

Chances are, if you're starting a personal brand, you've consumed self-improvement content. You're interested in it.

He mentioned a likely transition to hard skills.

That also makes sense.

So for me, it's time to move forward and add another #2.

Maybe adding another #2 is part of the original #2 which is: How to grow an audience.

Pursuing a hard skill and documenting that journey is a great way to do just that.

Beautiful irony.

Evolve, share the evolution.

The Skill

My original offer to the world is still my best.

My #1.. Help people to:

  • Convert ideas into action...
  • Take back control of their lives..
  • Understand mechanisms that prevent change...
  • Reverse engineer them.

What's a hard skill that I think:

  • is cool
  • is profitable
  • would be fun
  • would help with my first #2 (get eyeballs on my ideas).

I love video editing, I always thought it was super cool.

I wanna learn those 2D keyframe animations similar to Dan Koe's short form videos.

Like this

It's a skill that would serve tons of purposes.

  1. It would increase the value of my #1 content.
  2. I'll publish it on Instagram/TikTok/YouTube, where I believe more of my target audience resides.
  3. I'll be able to document the learning of the skill (my evolution) on Twitter.
  4. I'll have a high income profitable skill under my belt.

I think it's the right path for me.

I haven't mentioned it before, but I'm also building a clothing brand with my fiancé.

Thinking of sharing that journey. Not sure why I haven't been to be honest.

Conclusion

This is my personal brand journey on Twitter so far:

1. Join Twitter

Share what problems you've solved and how you've solved them.

2. Solve Your Next Problem (Your #2)

This was (and still is) growth for me.

3. Share How You're Solving it

I didn't wanna. What am I supposed to share then? It's my only way I'm evolving. 

The hurdle.

Here's the way the journey should go with what I've learned (for me):

1. Join Twitter

Share what problems you've solved and how you've solved them. (Your #1)

2. Solve Your Next Problem (Your #2)

This will be growth.

3. Don't Forget to Continue Pursuing Your #1

Continue deepening and learning about your original interest.

4. Continue Solving More Problems (more #2's) Until you Find One you Love

This is the key. 

The journey seems to be about facing problems and overcoming them. That's what makes your life interesting. That's what allows you to help those behind you. 

But that doesn't mean you have to love every problem you run into. Share about each as much as you'd like. Eventually. you'll find a problem you're passionate about. 

That will become one of your pillars. 

Do this a few times and you have your evergreen pillars.

We have to continue evolving. There's no way around it.

It gets fun when you solve problems you enjoy. Some of them might not be fun, but they might be necessary.

Get through them and keep chugging.

- Jason