I woke up at 04:30 and wrote a beautiful newsletter. Every word shone as though inspired by some higher power. It was immaculate. And then, for no reason at all, it disappeared. All my hard work was gone in a puff of smoke. And there's no great moral lesson I can spin out of it. Sometimes life just sucks.
I don't have the time or energy to write it all again this morning, so instead of throwing my laptop out of the window I'll talk about something else.
A lot of people tell me they want to start a blog. They want to start a podcast. They want to start a YouTube channel. But they don't.
They're worried it will suck. They're worried there's already so much out there. The market is too saturated. They'll never find an audience.
I'll tell you what I told the folks at Unilever when they booked me for a keynote.
85% of the global email volume is spam. For every beautiful email you sit down to write, there's almost 10 that are pure nonsense.
There's no limit to the amount of digital rubbish we can produce. So if you make something and it happens to be rubbish, join the club. If you publish something and nobody reads it, that doesn't mean it's terrible - it means it didn't find an audience. But if no one read it, no one hated it. So keep going!
You should be more worried if everyone reads it and shares it with their friends, and they all come to your house to throw tomatoes at you.
There will always be more rubbish things, but a bad thing is often better than nothing.
Leonardo DiCaprio's first film scored 4/10 on IMDB. Brad Pitt's first role was as an uncredited extra on a film that scored 5/10.
The inverse is also true - There will always be a market for great ideas.
People worry that it's too late to start a YouTube channel or podcast. Here's some context:
Almost half the humans on the planet use YouTube every month. That's 2.6 billion people. Over 60% of internet users in the US are on YouTube every single day.
So where are all these YouTube channels? Where's all the content? It doesn't exist because everyone sits at home thinking 'I could do that', but less than 10% of all YouTube users have ever uploaded a single video to the platform. Less than 5% of active users even have a YouTube channel.
And that podcast you're worried about? The average podcast has 7 episodes. There are roughly 2 million podcasts out there. 65% of them have less than 10 episodes. 44% have less than 3. 12% have only one episode. Most people give up or wear out before the game even starts. They're tearing ACLs during practice.
I'm in the top 5% of podcasters in the world and it has nothing to do with the size of my audience. It's because I simply keep making it. In fact, there's one coming out today.
You could produce something objectively bad and be in the top 10% by simply not quitting. And do you know what else happens when you don't quit? When you put in dozens of reps? When you keep showing up and honing your craft? It gets good.
You just need the curiosity to start and the consistency to finish.
There were TV shows before Game of Thrones. There were podcasts before Joe Rogan. There were smartphones before the iPhone.
The market always makes room for something great.