Creating is one of the greatest acts you can do when starting a business.
It has the power to kickstart your venture, show your potential customers the value you can generate, and markets your abilities.
And when I say “create,” what I mean is that you’re making something that can be of use to someone else, a design, a website, a video, a Medium post, a prototype of some product. You get it.
And then share that creation to the world using social media, an email, a phone call, a flyer, whatever.
When you create and share, you’re giving someone the opportunity to see what you can do. And once someone can make the connection between what you can make and their life or company, sparks will fly, magic will happen, and you’ll have a business.
It happened to me.
Several years ago, I started a video production company with a partner. And when I say we had a company, it was really just me and another guy playing around with a camera that I had. Sure we had an LLC but, really, it was just me and him, fumbling around.
I already had another company that I started a few years earlier that did web development with clients, and I saw the opportunity to offer video services to them. And it worked to an extent. We created a few videos for a couple of them at a discounted rate.
Also I had income from my first business, but my partner in the video business didn’t. We needed to generate more revenue to support him and his family. Those small projects we had didn’t provide enough. So we had to do something more, and quick.
We decided to “just make stuff.” We created videos, everything from the process of starting this business and its ups and down to random little videos of us eating at various places we loved, and posted on them social media.
Then one day, we came up with the idea of creating a video for our city. “Let’s create video that shows off all of the stuff that we love about this place,” we said. And we started filming. It took days possibly weeks. Then we edited. And the result was this video about St. Louis. And we shared it.
It took off.
At first we noticed a thousand views, and we got all excited about that; then the view counter went to ten thousand and we stopped laughing and were dumbfounded; after a hundred thousand, we were shocked and amazed and grateful.
As it was taking off, our phones started to ring like crazy and the email requests started flooding in. Everyone wanted a video. They told us that they wanted one like we made for the city but for their business. It was magical.
And our business started growing faster than we imagined it could. We started hiring full-time staff and grew from there.
Does all of that sound too unreal? Honestly, it felt that way. But it happened.
You can experience the same. It may not occur as I described it: It may not be as sudden. It may be more incremental. But creating and sharing makes the unreal real.
Look at Casey Neistat. He talks about his journey as an entrepreneur and filmmaker in the same terms. He made videos for years and shared them on all kinds of platforms. Eventually things started taking off. Now he’s one of the most viewed creators on YouTube.
You don’t need to quit you full-time job or whatever you’re doing for income. You can practice this on the side.
Also remember this, everything you create at first will feel like it’s crap. And to be honest, it probably is. I mean look at the first pieces of any artist or entrepreneur you respect. It’s often awful. But they started. And—more importantly, they didn’t stop.
Anyone can make something. It can be dishes of food you share on instagram, or videos of you making a crib for your baby, or create an incredible garden and blog about it. Just create.
And there will be some who will be interested and inspired by what you do. A few may even pay you for it.
That’s the beauty of creating: It doesn’t just create the work you’re making, it can create a whole business, even a thriving company. It’s so powerful that you’ll find yourself dumbfounded.
It can even change your life. It happened to me.
It can happen to you.