There’s a hidden epidemic spreading among our generation.
No, I’m not talking about fidget spinners.
I’m talking about something much worse.
Something that is holding back an entire generation of people from reaching their true potential.
Even worse, it’s linked to the unprecedented number of cases of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
What is it?
I know—probably not what you expected. But it’s dangerously real.
A recent study by leading psychologists showed levels of perfectionism have increased dramatically in the past thirty years. And it’s supported by many more studies performed over the past few years that show the increasingly harmful effects perfectionism is having on our generation.
Perfectionism is the feeling that everything we do has to be flawless or close to it.
But because humans are by definition imperfect, this is an impossible bar to reach. And so we become our own worst critic, paralyzed by our imperfections.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you can relate. You’re ambitious and motivated to do BIG things. But you feel there’s always something holding you back that you can’t quite put your finger on.
And with the INSANE amounts of social media we consume every day, it’s easy to see why. On Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, we are only seeing the best slices of other people’s lives.
The FOMO is real.
You can see this exposed in Thai photographer Chompoo Baritone’s amazing photo series, which shows what those perfect Instagram pictures look like in reality.
Not so perfect anymore, right?
I’ve also seen perfectionism creep into the emails I see every day at Jumpcut:
“I want to start a YouTube channel, but I haven’t thought of a great idea yet.”
“I don’t feel like I’m expert enough that people will listen to what I have to say.”
“I want to start my own online business, but there’s too much competition for what I want to do.”
If you go below the surface, you’ll see that all of these statements are just excuses that prevent us from taking that first step.
Because it’s scary to be vulnerable.
It’s embarrassing to fail.
Getting unfairly judged hurts.
The problem with these excuses is there are no fail-proof business ideas. I’ve had plenty of “can’t miss” ideas that crashed and burned before they got off the runway. (In a bit I’ll reveal some of our biggest business failures…stuff we’ve never talked about publicly.)
Here’s the bottom line. In order to have the lifestyle and freedom you dream about, you have to take on some risk starting an online business.
Now we’re not talking about life and death risk here. Or file-for-bankruptcy risk.
I’m talking about the kind of risk where all you’ve lost is some of your time.
Even if you value your time highly like I do, you can’t find better upside than investing it in creating a profitable online business.
So what are you afraid of?
- Losing money? We were broke college students when we started our first YouTube channel. Try again.
- Feeling hopeless if it doesn’t work? Trust me when I say that pangs of regret are much worse than throwing in the towel.
- Your friends and family seeing you fail? They’ll BARELY notice because they’re too busy worried about the same things you are.
And I know this from first-hand experience. We’ve fallen flat on our faces countless times, and guess what? We’re still here.
Failure Isn’t A Death Sentence
Do you think when we built our first successful YouTube channel we had everything figured out?
Before we even filmed our first YouTube video, we already had multiple business failures in our rear view.
Our first business selling t-shirts? It failed.
Our second business, selling textbooks? Failed too.
We had dozens of business ideas that all eventually crapped out.
And our first videos were cringeworthy.
We had no idea how to attract an audience or edit videos. We didn’t even have fancy camera equipment so we borrowed a camera from a friend.
Even our living situation was a mess.
After our channel took off, we quit school and moved into my parent’s house.
When we started making legit cash, we were able to upgrade to our own place…in the slums of LA. Imagine waking up every morning to tap water that looked like this:
Even after racking up millions of views on YouTube…that didn’t mean the failures stopped. We still failed over and over, but we no longer had the gift of obscurity.
So when the sales page went live for our weekend bootcamps (basically a multi-day coaching session), all of our biggest fans saw it.
But soon after we made our first sale, we realized those bootcamps were an incredibly DUMB business idea. We reluctantly decided to shut down the entire operation.
But guess what?
We survived. How? Our fans didn’t abandon us. We didn’t have to get real jobs.
Instead of wallowing in our misery, we immediately started on our next idea, which would eventually make us millionaires.
You could even say the first version of our first successful digital product started out as a failure.
For one, our first sales video wasn’t our best work.
Second, we priced it at $5, which was WAY too low.
Third, we taught ourselves to code the website. Problem was it crashed for about 2 hours on launch day.
This might all sound crazy to you, but the truth is, we aren’t a unique case at all.
Every business, every influencer, every artist you’re a fan of, started imperfectly.
Amazon, which is slowly taking over the world (and could be worth $1 trillion by the end of this year), started out with a site that looked like this:
Do you think Jeff Bezos wastes one millisecond thinking about how bad Amazon’s site looked originally? To give a more recent example, do you think Bezos spent days depressed in bed because the Fire phone was a massive flop?
I didn’t think so.
In fact, in his annual letter to shareholders, Bezos called Amazon, “the best place in the world to fail at.”
If one of the biggest companies in the world isn’t perfect, why should you expect to be?
Exactly. You shouldn’t.
Which is why it kills me to see so many people miss out on the opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives.
Instead of taking a risk and betting on themselves, they end up in minimum wage job they hate, selling most of the time they’re actually awake for $15 bucks an hour.
But this doesn’t have to be your fate. Here’s what you can do the next time perfectionism tries to sabotage your ambitions for a better life.
Start At The Beginning
Tanner Braungardt had two million YouTube subscribers and was buying his SECOND car by the time he was sixteen years old.
Oh yeah, he was also signed to the same Hollywood agency that represents Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lawrence.
But when he started, he was just filming himself doing flips on trampolines. And kids at school bullied him about it. Just because he was doing something different than playing on the football team.
This is what we all secretly fear, isn’t it?
That we’ll put ourselves out there and get judged because it doesn’t meet other people’s expectations.
Well, here’s what Tanner had to say about all that:
“You’ve just got to learn to ignore it. You can’t let them win. You just can’t.”
By ignoring the haters, Tanner was able to go back to the reason he started making videos in the first place—having fun:
“I definitely want to keep making YouTube videos, because that’s what I started out doing and what I still love doing. Right now I’m just, you know, trying to have fun.”
Tanner was able to access something called Beginner’s Mind to drown out and focus on what he was passionate about.
Beginner’s Mind is simply approaching things with an open, childlike mindset.
A beginner’s mind looks at new ideas as an opportunity to learn and have fun, instead of worrying about failing or other people’s expectations.
For example, do you think this 6-year-old, Ryan, was worried about what his friends thought when he started opening up toys on YouTube?
Of course not.
He wasn’t dreaming of raking in millions of dollars either. But it turns out Ryan’s ToysReview made $11 million dollars last year and was one of Forbes highest paid YouTube entrepreneurs.
The truth is Ryan is a regular kid who loves toys. And his passion and joy are what endears him to his 11 million fans.
It would never even occur to a 6-year-old to worry if he should share his fun with the other people.
Ryan didn’t sit around thinking:
“What if I fail?”
“What if my friends judge me?”
“What if my idea isn’t perfect?”
He just got started.
And there’s no substitute for taking that first step and getting momentum.
So what does this mean for you?
No more wasting time on excuses you know are complete BS.
No more worrying about what your friends will think.
No more being afraid of failing (because it’s inevitable).
Instead, attack this opportunity with a beginner’s mindset.
Focus on why you want to build an audience, what you’re passionate about, and sharing that passion with other like-minded people. That’s how you silence your inner perfectionist and finally get started.
And look, this might all make perfect sense to you. But as soon as you’re done with this article, you’re attention is going to get pulled away to a million other things. And you still won’t have taken that first step. But I want that to stop right here, right now.
Which why we’ve created an EASY way to get started—with a proven, step-by-step system to guide you the rest of the way.
It’s a FREE video crash course that will teach you how to become a YouTube Influencer. It includes over an hour of our best-kept secrets for building your own audience of raving fans.
We’ve even included material from our premium course, which you’ll also get access to. You’ll also receive our email newsletter, where you’ll receive exclusive content we don’t publish anywhere else.
Kick your inner perfectionist to the curb and sign up now to learn how to make a living doing what you love on YouTube.