You create what you consume.

What you consume influences what you end up creating.

Are you aware of what you've been consuming lately?

Your answer could make the difference between success & fulfillment and comparison & content shock. Not to mention bouts of doubt & lack of inspiration.

We all have this need to check if we're doing "the right things" and see how we can do them even better. The problem is when you drop yourself out of the equation and decide that you should do things by other people's standards. 

Let's take the how to's and life hacks and successful habits as an example. 

This type of content is designed to improve your life, but all it does is plant self-doubt and overwhelm you with things you don’t need to worry about.

Even life lessons are sounding all the same, coming to the same conclusions, and assuming that those takeaways will help you lead your life better, when in actuality, your life will be drastically different from the next person's. It needs to be.

You were born different, so stay different.

I mean, tomorrow you could decide that you like someone's website and go on to make yours a little similar. Or believe that the experts know better than you and decide to do what they do. Basically, you're foregoing who you are, what you stand for, and what you do best, so that you can emulate successful people. Ugh.

Before you know it, you're creating stuff that's expected. What everybody else is creating. Your business, your website, your entire online presence becomes a copy of everybody else's and we get this homogeneous mass of blergh.

There's nothing more boring than being predictable.

Creating what you're consuming isn't just boring, it could be dangerous. I may have told you about my failure to launch the Xmas before last. I basically tried to create a course a) because everybody else was and b) the way everybody else was. Then I ended up refunding everyone because it turns out it's not for me.

Quelle surprise.

(If you have ever created something just because everyone else was and ended up realizing you hated it, then proceeded to do things your way, maybe you should join our community of creative rebels, who're doing the exact same thing.)


If you are curious, here's my current consumption list:

Caroline Winegeart's weekly letters are everything. Follow her blog or newsletter, you just have to have a little Caroline in your life.

Caroline Winegeart's weekly letters are everything. Follow her blog or newsletter, you just have to have a little Caroline in your life.

Jason Zook is a master rebel, who shares all of his rebel adventures and projects transparently. Check out his articles and podcast.

Jason Zook is a master rebel, who shares all of his rebel adventures and projects transparently. Check out his articles and podcast.

Paul Jarvis says it like it is, which makes his blog a must-follow for creative rebels. He also has a cool newsletter and podcast.

Paul Jarvis says it like it is, which makes his blog a must-follow for creative rebels. He also has a cool newsletter and podcast.

Austin Kleon's twitter feed is gold. He also shares his creative thoughts on his blog and his newsletter. Basically, just follow it all.

Austin Kleon's twitter feed is gold. He also shares his creative thoughts on his blog and his newsletter. Basically, just follow it all.

Alexandra Franzen is one of my favorite writers in the whole world. Everything she writes is filled with hope and inspiration. 

Alexandra Franzen is one of my favorite writers in the whole world. Everything she writes is filled with hope and inspiration. 

James Victore is such a rebel! He just announced he's doing videos on Patreon and guess who's already supporting him? Moi.

James Victore is such a rebel! He just announced he's doing videos on Patreon and guess who's already supporting him? Moi.

Sian Richardson will help you win on your own terms and her blog is just one facet of that. I love Sian's no-BS policy and her magazine.

Sian Richardson will help you win on your own terms and her blog is just one facet of that. I love Sian's no-BS policy and her magazine.

Elin Loow is such a creative spirit! On her blog, you'll find letters and a ton of encouragement for anyone who's still afraid to be creative.

Elin Loow is such a creative spirit! On her blog, you'll find letters and a ton of encouragement for anyone who's still afraid to be creative.


Where do we put the line between consuming and following up on that consumption? Between consuming and being swayed away from who we are? Why can't we just be ourselves instead of being swayed by promises of millions of dollars and 'a better life' that will never come? Why can't we be happy about being different???

Probably because "different" is very similar to "weird," and that's a dirty word. 

You know the feeling, right? You were probably called weird at some point in your life and you didn't like it. It meant you were doing something wrong. You were not conforming to whatever the standard for behavior was.

I'll tell you what though. I'll take your weird over predictable any day.

With everybody spewing content in every format, on every platform, and the world slipping into content shock, the only people who stand out are the outliers, the purple cows, the creative rebels. Those who are tired of fitting in and blissfully standing out. Those of us who embrace who we are, all that we are.

The irony is that society accepts weird only when the person is successful. Only when they've changed things for the better. Only when it can put a label on them and call them outliers, praise them for being ingenious, but still not different. Because if society admits that different is better, the whole system will crumble. 

Back to content. Realistically, one can be themselves and do things their way whatever content they consume. However, I bring this up because-

People take advice at the worst possible times.

Have you noticed? When you're at a crossroads, you ask your loved ones what to do. When you're starting a business, you consume all that you can and do what you're told. And so on. Since content is everywhere - like the unsolicited advice that it's become - consumption is becoming the seed of self-doubt.

We've all been there, and it's very fixable, don't worry.

In one of my rebellious recordings, I let you know that I'm no longer consuming how to articles, life hack listicles, or expert advice. This is simply because I don't need advice on how to lead my life or run my business, I never have.

And if you feel overwhelmed by all the discombobulated content you've been consuming, maybe it's time to DISCONNECT and DISCOVER your own brand or business through fresh eyes and with some new perspective - your own. Because the Internet doesn't need another 'samey' brand, but more unique voices.

So stop consuming all the wrong things and find what makes your heart sing. 

Better yet, find what makes your brand sing. 

And remember, no expert's opinion should ever trump your own gut feeling. No one way of doing business can ever be better than your own.

Ultimately-

There is no wrong and no right way. There’s the way I do things, the way you do things, and the way they do things.

My consumption list, part dos:

Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is so hilarious, you'll want to scoop her up and carry her around when you travel. Srsly.

Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is so hilarious, you'll want to scoop her up and carry her around when you travel. Srsly.

Brad Montague is one of the most positive and joyfully rebellious creatures on the planet! His new channel on Youtube is gold!

Brad Montague is one of the most positive and joyfully rebellious creatures on the planet! His new channel on Youtube is gold!

Regina is such a sweetheart - honest, engaging, even silly, she gives a ton of value on her site, in her newsletter, everywhere.

Regina is such a sweetheart - honest, engaging, even silly, she gives a ton of value on her site, in her newsletter, everywhere.

Soulpancake is for you if you want to be inspired to create, to look at the world through rose-tinted glassed, and to just be you!

Soulpancake is for you if you want to be inspired to create, to look at the world through rose-tinted glassed, and to just be you!

The Yellow Conference articles have been my favorite thing to see in my feedly. They are full of soul and optimism. Must-read.

The Yellow Conference articles have been my favorite thing to see in my feedly. They are full of soul and optimism. Must-read.

Similarly, Braid Creative's perspective on online business is refreshing and heart-centered. Another must-read.

Similarly, Braid Creative's perspective on online business is refreshing and heart-centered. Another must-read.

Sara Dietschy is one of the most prolific vloggers I have ever watched grow on Youtube. Love how transparent she is.

Sara Dietschy is one of the most prolific vloggers I have ever watched grow on Youtube. Love how transparent she is.

The Ampersand Project by Marissa Burdett is my new favorite thing to listen to. Marissa's insights are truly unique and resonant, too.

The Ampersand Project by Marissa Burdett is my new favorite thing to listen to. Marissa's insights are truly unique and resonant, too.


I have one very important question for you:

Do you truly admire the people you consume content from OR do you do it just because they appear to be successful in a general way?

Be wary of success that doesn't match your values, or your vision for your future. There are a lot of you's in that sentence because they're supposed to be. Nobody else will ever live your life for you, and they will certainly not be able to make you happy when you get where everyone else has gotten, and you feel miserable because it doesn't fit. You could have stayed at your 9-5, same outcome.

So what can you do now? 

Make a list of people who have similar values to yours and who have 'made it' to a place where you'd be happy to occupy yourself. When you follow these people, you're not swayed in a direction you don't want to take.

To put it simply, stop consuming mindlessly, start consuming intentionally.

If you want to succeed on your own terms, you have to run your brand or business on your own terms, and that means no external pollutants.

Every time you consume a piece of content, it changes your mood a little, and the more comparison / advice / mindless repetition you consume, the more bogged down your mind becomes, and at some point, you can't do what you love because you're thinking about all the should's that are being thrown at you.

I speak from experience. No good can come from random consumption.

To make sure you're not making this mistake:

  • make lists on twitter of your favorite inspiring individuals
  • make a folder on feedly with your favorite blogs and publications
  • make it a habit to create your content and products and everything else before you have read or done any research on it, do the research later
  • make it a habit to consume inspirational content

Inspiring content fills your heart with joy. It inspires you to create wonderful things. And it charges your creativity with the most rebellious ideas.

I know you'll make the right choice for yourself and your creative business. 

And tell me, what's on your intentional consumption list?


 

Violeta Nedkova is a multipassionate writer, creative business owner, and chief creative rebel at the Creative Rebel Academy.

She believes that everything you do should be as unique as you. Say hi on twitter!

Violeta Nedkova photo
 

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Violeta Nedkova

Violeta Nedkova is a multipassionate entrepreneur and creative rebel who believes that everything you do should be as unique as you. She loves tweeting, curating rebellious things and people, and writing until the sun comes up.