On my first solo trip in Ecuador, 2015
I could never do that.
A friend said that on a call the other day, we were talking about stretch goals, and her comment has lingered with me since then.
I’ve just finished 2 days of batch shooting videos, about 30 total. I'm a little fried.
Yesterday’s focus was a lot of mindset content, and that has me thinking about fear. In my business, fear is usually the cute elephant in a pink tutu in the room. Most women have some fear of video.
When was the last time you saw something impressive and you thought, “I could never do that”?
I used to think that about a lot of things.
The problem is, it is not true most of the time. If you have the physical and mental capacity (and even those are wider and deeper than we give them credit for), there are many impossible things you can do.
Tony Robbins says “In life you either need inspiration or desperation”.
This is why you hear people like yours truly yammer on about the comfort zone. When we have places to hide, aka our comfort zone, we look outside of them and think, I could never do that.
What do places to hide look like? Well, it can be confusing, because sometimes they are the things that support us, too.
In my case, I hid behind my husband’s earning power for many years. I worked flex time but I was totally holding back so as not to rock the boat - mine, his, the kids.
When I was married, I used to see women entrepreneurs and think, “I could never do that”. I talked to a lot of them, I joined groups that supported them, I sat on my comfy couch and read about them, but I didn’t actually become one until I left the security of my ex-husband’s paycheck.
And that started me on the path of doing all sorts of scary, exhilarating things that I was sure I could “never” do a few years ago.
I’m not saying they have all been great choices. I’ve had branding missteps, spent money on courses and coaches that didn’t really pan out, (although some totally did), spent too much time on the wrong things, and confused my audience several times.
The heroine's journey is a hot mess. I'm finally narrowing in on a foundation but still a lot of work to do to solidify and clarify by January. The jury is still out on MANY fronts. I am constantly holding space for more uncertainty than I am comfortable with. It is exhausting at times. If you run your own business, you know.
But here is the thing - I have to keep moving, because I have no choice. I shed all my hiding places.
And here is the diamond that surfaces from the muck - when you do those things you could never do, no matter how imperfectly, you grow in ways you would not have thought possible, either.
The way it works for most people is, once you get a sense of your bigger goal, - I call it your trigger goal, the one that is tied to the reason you are on the planet at this moment, you can and will do just about anything to get there.
Your trigger goal provides laser focus and gives you Wonder Woman bravery where before there was, Oh, I could never do that. Or, I’ll do that later. Or, now is not the right time.
One of my clients has had a local coaching practice for many years. She focused on in-person workshops and was not that active on social media. She’s not a techie person.
One day, something clicked for her. She found her trigger goal.
She got tired of playing small. I’m not saying a locally focused practice is by default playing small. I’m saying for her goals, it was not going to get her to the next level.
Once she got focused, it was like watching a rocket take off. She shot several hours of video for a workshop in just a week. She was a model client - positive, responsive, resilient. She proceeded to do many things she “could never do” in her business, not just around video. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for her.
She didn’t have to get a divorce, or sell or donate all she owned and drive off into the sunset to make progress on her bigger dream. What she did was find her trigger, though - the goal that she wanted MORE than she wanted to stay comfortable.
So how do we do that? I don’t have the formula, to be honest. I would love to hear from you, actually.
I think it is a combination of creating a vision of the biggest life we could achieve, putting a stake in the ground 5 - 10 years from now, and going for it.
I also know that finding a tribe that is on a similar journey is essential. That’s one reason I love what I do. Most of the women I work with are on some version of the heroine’s journey I just described.
Thank you for reading. Have you found your trigger goal? If not, go find your trigger goal, your tribe, and get busy doing lots of things you could never do. And keep me posted!
Facebook Live Blues? YouTube Live stuttering? If your live streaming video quality isn't dreamy, this may be why.
Just about the time I moved to Todos Santos, Mexico for the summer, I started experimenting with Live Video. In Mexico City, my internet had been great, so I hadn’t even thought about the requirements for Live Video.
It turns out my internet connection here is less than optimal. The Universe likes to keep us on our toes, right?
Did I decide to give up and deal with it this fall? NO! I did not give up on Live video!
I investigated some co-working spaces with super fast connections, and I met some nice people through that process. I also brushed up on my knowledge of the technical requirements for a good Facebook Live session.
First of all, there is a difference between Wifi and your Internet connection. Your wifi is your local wireless connection within your house or office that seems like magic.
The wifi box (router) receives the info from your device through wireless transmission and sends it to the internet via the cable that plugs into the wall.
If you share wifi, or are far away from the wifi box, you may end up with a weak wifi connection and stream your video poorly, even if you have a great Internet connection.
First thing to figure out, though, is your Internet connection:
Here is what is going on in that benign little cable that connects you to the Internet. I also go over this in the above video I did for our YouTube Channel. (not live, by the way).
Your internet connection consists of two pieces. Let's think of it like two pipelines in the wire.
Pipeline U is the one that sends information UP to the server. When you start a session on Facebook Live you are sending the video information UP to Facebook's servers, (or YouTube or whoever is hosting your live video.)
Pipeline D is the download pipeline where you receive information - download documents, files, photos, and yes, streaming video.
The service you have from your internet provider determines the size of the pipelines, so to speak.
Now you might imagine that video files are fatter than other info. This is because of the level of detail in video versus just uploading a picture or a document. It’s like the difference between sending someone a recipe, a picture of a cake, or the whole cake. Which would take up more space?
You also don't have control over your local internet connection options. If you live in an urban area with fiber optic you likely already have an internet connection with a good Pipeline U and a great Pipeline D. If you don’t, you might be able to upgrade.
Or, you may still have a connection that gives you great a nice big Pipeline D but a small Pipeline U. That is the case for me in Todos Santos. No fiber optic on our street (although I do think they have it downtown).
Here is the bad news. Not only is a small Pipeline U not great for Live video, it will slow you down when you upload the smartphone videos you create with your phone.
First thing - check your download and upload speed at http://www.speedtest.net/
Check with your internet provider about your options. Ideally you want at least 2 megabytes per second (Mbps) upload speed for LIve video.
Right now my Pipeline U is under 1 Mbps.
This caused me some angst when I first got here. But I've experimented with it to learn about it, to be able to pass on to you, and so it all worked out.
What I learned is it is possible to stream Facebook live with less than 1 Megabyte per second.
For live viewers the visual is a little fuzzy and there's a bit of a lag at times.
Should you let this stop you if it's the case for your connection, too?
In my opinion, no. It depends on your goals. In general I say Go For It, because even if it's not perfect, you will learn something from it.
The other thing that I learned is that the video file improves after Facebook upload it and processes it. So you are not stuck with the quality of the initial stream in the final video.
This is because all the video information that was trying to crowd its way into the tiny Pipeline U finally arrives at home base and organizes into a higher quality video.
Finally, your viewers also have their own download Pipeline Ds, so their experience is determined by that, too. You could have a huge Pipeline U for sharing your streaming video, but if your viewer has a puny Pipeline D, it will affect their viewing.
You have no control over the connection that your viewers have, so you can take that off of your Worry List.
What happens if you check your Pipelines, you have a decent size Pipeline U, but your Live Video quality is still suffering? It might be your wifi.
Try moving closer to the wifi box, and think about who else might be online in the house. Ask your partner who is watching cat videos on YouTube while streaming music on their iPhone to log off for a minute. If you have a video gamer in the house, ask them to stop for a bit. Then see if your streaming video improves.
Last tidbit: Live video and "live stream" video are the same thing. However, a video that is not live can still be streamed - like when you watch a movie on Netflix.
Bottom line - have patience with the process. You are learning new things. It might be a little messy and annoying at times, but it’s like riding a bike - once you learn, it seems easy. Plus, it is empowering to be able to diagnose your problems. Let us know if you have more questions!
As part of our 30 Minute Business Video Basics Summer School, today we did an extreme makeover of sound, lighting and composition (aka where to put your face in the frame).
You can see the video HERE.
I did it via Facebook live which is why it is in vertical orientation. (also known as "portrait" mode). The same principles apply for horizontal (landscape) filming, too.
I start with the existing lighting and showed you easy ways how to fix or improve the shot. Then I show you the option of adding a simple additional video light. We also hear the difference between the sound before and after, with and without a mic. With live video you also have to consider your internet connection. You can learn more about how your internet connection affects live video HERE.
Here is the video, followed by an overview (but really, it's more interesting to watch it below.
When you're shooting a video you have three elements to think about:
the sound and
which is just another way of saying where do you put your face in the frame.
Considering that filmmaking is an art form, you can imagine there is a lot of art and science behind all of that.
However, you are not a filmmaker. You are running a business.
I know both sides of that equation - video and marketing. I also know exactly what to simplify for your purposes so that you get enough information to make decent quality videos but not to suffer from overwhelm.
Research and our own experience probably shows that more choices do not always improve our outcomes. Humans tend to freeze up with too many choices and not make a decision. With Video Avoidance being a rampant condition we don't need any more ways to procrastinate.
My motto is always keep it simple and keep moving.
When I started this video the shot looks pretty bad. In fact, it made me wince but I kept it that way for a few minutes to show you how to fix it.
The first thing we fixed was the sound. We turned off fans and we plugged in a microphone.
In this case since we were doing live video I showed you my favorite earbuds to use for live video. (more information about a higher-quality mic to use when you tape your videos when you are not life.)
Next, you can either fix your light first or your position for the shot.
In the teaching video we actually fixed your composition first. I did that because I had already run through this for the live video. In reality, if I'm using natural light or ambient light, I always fix my light first and then I set up the composition. That is because it's easier to move me then to move a window in a wall or a really ugly fixed backdrop, for example.
In the video you'll see the difference when I play with the ambient light in the room. The main takeaway is you always want to figure out a way to get that white glint in your eye. If you are really backlit by a window one way to even that out is to raise the level of light in the room. And that is what we did. Sometimes that's easier than trying to find another cloth or something to drape over the window especially if it's going to be in the shot. And that is because usually it ends up looking like, well, a cloth or something you draped over the window, and not that great.
I also always start with the overhead lights off to see if I can get the light to work without them. But it's not the end of the world if you have to use them. It's all about balancing the amount of light from different sources.
So moving on I adjusted the curtains on the lights behind me and then I played with it window that was in front of me that I had positioned my desk to maximize and then we turn down the overhead lights and blah blah blah.
WAIT - did I lose you?
So what you just saw is a great example of why watching a video is often more powerful than reading information, especially for a how-to video. It’s pretty boring to tell you what we did in the video, isn’t it?
So go ahead and take a few minutes and watch our Extreme Video Shot Makeover. If you are someone who likes reading, here is the workaround - we put captions files on all our videos.
Don't get me wrong - every video I do starts on paper. We back up the video information in our Ultimate Guide to Fab Videos, along with lots of info on the blog. If you have questions, you can always join us in the Summer School - through the end of August, at 1:00 Central Time on FB live.
Thanks and stay cool!
Kala is the Founder and Executive Producer of the Ultimate System for Fab Videos, Finally Done