How to Handle Unwarranted Advice
As someone who has slowly built something from nothing, and it taking so long to even get to the small ‘something’ that is Beyond Film School I’ve come to recently encounter a lot of advice on how to make Beyond Film School better. How do you deal with the advice you didn’t ask for? What happens to you as a person when you get flooded with all the suggestions, criticism, and feedback? How do you handle unwarranted advice?
I’ve been building my YouTube channel and this idea of helping people break into the film industry coming up on 6 years now. It’s been a long road. When you look at my first video on my channel, it’s embarrassing! But I’m also proud to see myself come so far. Finding my niche was a very interesting journey. I just wanted to make videos, express my thoughts, and hopefully help people along the way. People, like me. People in my situation. That’s how Beyond Film School was born. I didn’t really have a name for it back when I first started. Officially Beyond Film School is only 2 years old!
Once I established my niche and went running with Beyond Film School my YouTube channel finally started to grow. I was not an instant success, and my channel is still very small compared to the YouTubers out there making millions, but my progress still amazes me!
The last few weeks have been very tough. Tough mentally, and emotionally. I found myself not being inspired to make any videos. I didn’t want to post on any social media. I would say and ask myself: “Why is anyone taking my advice?” “What do I have to offer?” “I’m not a good YouTuber.” I really thought of myself as just not being any good at what I’ve been doing for so long! I felt such dread, and depression when it came to my videos. I felt very sad about this whole situation. Overall, I didn’t feel good enough for anything. I wanted to walk away entirely and just fold up Beyond Film School. I had this entire thought out plan on posting a “goodbye” video. It would have been my last one on my channel.
What happened? As my channel grew I would get more and more advice on what to do to grow faster, and make more money. It started out as just friendly suggestions from close friends who understood what I was doing, fans, or subscribers. I would get a random suggestion maybe once every couple of months. Fast forward a year. My YouTube channel is finally monetized, I offer things outside my channel that brings in income, and I’m in a happy place with Beyond Film School. Now the suggestions are almost every other day!
I get messages, tweets, DM’s, emails, texts from all kinds of people, even my friends on how to make my videos better, where I should expand next, what other platforms to place my videos, what other training courses to do, how to talk better, how to look at the camera, how to present an idea better… and the list goes on and on! It was in my head like this: “Amber these are all the things you are doing wrong, and you need to fix them now!”
It really was driving me crazy. Everything said to me wasn’t making me feel like what I’m doing is good, and just needs improvement, it made me feel like I’ve gotten everything wrong, and I was just horrible. I had enough. Taking in all the suggestions was weighing on me so much that I started to doubt everything I had done, and even thinking about doing in the future. Has everything I’ve put out so far just been complete crap?
I didn’t want to make another video! And to the date of this post I haven’t made one yet. 🙁 I think I am encountering a bit of writer’s block… which requires a totally different post to address.
The easy answer to that is no. I know that what I’ve made so far isn’t crap. Not all of it at least. Many people have found my videos useful, inspiring even! It makes me so happy that I can help someone that feels they don’t belong in the film industry. I have to remember those interactions, emails, and comments that thanked me, and the positivity that was given to me. I had to remember all of the great things said to me involving this whole endeavor.
I’m the first person to know where I need to improve. I know my bad habits. There’s so many things that I know I have to do and improve on. I don’t want people to think that those things aren’t on my mind. They are. I think about how to improve all the time, and with each video I try to do something better. With each passing month I have more ideas on what else I’d like to do with Beyond Film School. Being told you have to improve constantly wears a person down. It really messes with the mind. Maybe I’m way more sensitive, but the build and progression of it all really got to me, and felt like I was losing control of a thing that was mine.
How did I Move Forward?
Well the first thing I did after feeling massively insecure, and like I was a fraud was brush it off. There are always going to be people that think they are helping. All they want to do is “help.” Or so they think. There are going to be people that need to voice their opinion about what you do or what you have. They’ll word vomit all over you not knowing the affect it’ll have on you. If you take anything away from this post know that words matter and they affect people.
I had to talk to someone. Talking about this to people close to me helped so much. There was no way of dealing with this sort of thing on my own. I was able to be mad for a moment and vent. I got out that frustration. I wanted to know their thought process if something similar were said to them, to make sure how I was feeling wasn’t out of left field, and that I wasn’t alone.
Know that you can block people. If you feel that the advice/critique/feedback/opinion has gotten to a level of harassment, and it becomes more than just “helpful feedback” block them. You need to make sure that you stay sane, and mentally healthy. Sometimes you will need to block a person. It’s very sad, and it’s really a last resort for me, but it’s sometimes needed.
I stayed positive. Referring back to positivity, like I mentioned above. Stay positive, and remember all the good things people say to you and about you! For the life of you do not dwell and focus on anything negative.
Remember it’s a numbers game. Where were these suggestions when I was starting out? I can’t help but ask that question. When I was actually seeking out, researching, and watching videos on how to be a better YouTuber where we’re these suggestions? No where. It basically comes down to the amount of eyes I now have on me. More people are watching my videos. More people are interacting with me and the material I create. More people means more feedback. That realization really helped me.
I have to do what makes me happy. I don’t necessarily ignore what is suggested to me. If anything I really ingest certain ideas, and marinate with them and see how I feel about them. Some would say I’m too open to certain feedback. Maybe I am. But perception is the business I’m in. But there’s also that battle I have with being true to myself and making sure I am actually doing and creating things I want. I ultimately have to make myself happy, otherwise what am I doing this all for? Make sure you’re keeping yourself happy.
Ultimately, I know I’m not going to be a perfect YouTuber, a perfect business owner, and definitely far from a perfect filmmaker. I know that I’m going to keep improving, but at my own pace. We all have to remember that people are just gonna judge and think they can do it better. When really they aren’t doing what you’re doing, or really nothing at all except sitting at home watching Netflix.