How To Go From Content Consumer To Content Creator

PaintingIt’s definitely a consumer’s world today.

Netflix, podcasts, Spotify, blogs, social media and much, much more.

There is a lot of content available to consume. And the crazy thing is that we have capacity to consume even more. It’s crazy to think about, but consider your favorite show on Netflix… They probably can’t make episodes fast enough for demand.

Now, if you’re happy with life there is no issue with consuming content.

However, if you’re looking to accomplish more in life then it might be time to consider a change. For example, perhaps you want to create a business or expand a current business. The tools we have now allow us to create more content for others to consume. The challenge is finding the time to create that content.

But that’s where the discipline comes in. Being able to put aside the amount of time we spend consuming and put that time toward creating.

Here are a few steps to help make this change if you’re looking to make one…

Step #1. Decide What You Want

This is often the biggest step for most people. It’s also something we don’t often ask ourselves. You might see someone that is unhappy, but if you dig a little deeper you discover that they’re not really sure what they want. They know they aren’t happy with the current situation, but beyond that they’re lost.

Part of the issue these days might be that we don’t take time to sit in silence and think about life. We take out of phones and consume content to keep busy or we work or we do whatever. And we don’t take time to think about what’s important to us and what we want from life.

Once you’re able to answer this question it becomes easier to figure out if you’re doing what is necessary to move in that direction.

For example, if you want to grow your business using something like social media, which is certainly an opportunity, then you need to make time to create social media content.

Step #2. Audit Your Time

Once you know what you want, schedule time to audit everything you do during the day. Try to get into some detail with this. Now, there are certainly things you can’t remove. You have to sleep 8 hours. We all usually need about 1-2 hours to unwind and relax. We also may need some time for commuting or time with family.

But even with that there are usually opportunities to set aside time to create. Especially if you find that you’re spending 2-3 hours watching Netflix or 1-2 hours surfing social media.

Social media platforms are optimized to capture our attention. It’s our job to have the discipline to use it correctly. If it makes you happy to use social media 1-2 hours per day that’s fine. But if you feel too busy to accomplish what you want then moving from consuming that content to spending the time creating content then it’s time to make a change.

Step #3. Prioritize Opportunities

Another issue on this topic is knowing which opportunity to take. For one business owner it might be focusing on spending 1-2 hours per day creating content for LinkedIn. For another it might be making video for YouTube. Another might focus on Instagram. Another blogging.

The reality is that we have too many opportunities and it can almost paralyze you into not really doing any of them. But if you assess all the opportunities and then identify the one or two that fit best with your experience, personality and fit for your business you’ll be well positioned to commit for the long-term and have a chance at success.

Step #4. Change Daily Habits & Commit To A Schedule

And that’s the important thing. You need to commit to daily habits and for the long-term.

I like the example of songwriters. Especially in the Nashville scene. The writers there will often schedule 5-6 days a week or writing sessions. Sometimes two or even three per day. They might write 1-2 songs per day for several years before they get a hit.

But that’s the commitment it takes. It’s the same with any content creation.

Obviously you probably have a full-time job, but the point of this post is to understand that we’re consuming content today when we could be using that time to create. Create content, but also to create products and services if you’re business-minded.

Step #5. Perform Annual Audits

The final step is to setup regular audits. Say you do the steps above and a year goes by. It’s easy during that year for changes to creep into your daily schedule.

It’s like working out. We start out going to the gym everyday for January. Then February we cut down to four days. By June, we’re not working out at all.

The same thing happens with creating content. A songwriter, for example, may start out attending five sessions a week. After a year they might be down to three and not even realize it.

So it’s good to set a calendar reminder to audit your daily habits every year to make sure you’re working toward what you want in life.

Final Thoughts

Again, this is for people that want to make changes in their lives. It’s wonderful that we have so much access to so much content today. But it’s a little like smoking in life. The world around us is optimized to earn our attention. But if we want to create things we need to create the discipline in our lives to limit consumption and use that time and energy for creation.

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