Producers and Consumers

Producers and Consumers

When I was a kid, whenever we went to the shopping mall, I would ask my mom to buy this and that. The answer was usually “no”.

I loved watching the cartoon Transformers, and therefore always wanted to own the latest toy (the cartoon was really just an ad for them to sell new toys). One day my mom said “you should be more of a producer, and less of a consumer.”

I can’t help but think that influenced my decision to be an entrepreneur. At my company, we custom create branded clothing for people. I produce products that people buy. Ok, got it.

It was not until recently that I thought about this in the context of content. I’ve been great at consuming content – music, movies, books, audiobooks, podcasts, courses – but I never really thought about producing content until very recently.

Look at someone like Oprah, who recently toured in Atlanta. She started out on a radio show at age 16. Now she’s 66 and owns her own network. That’s 50 years of producing content, and mastering the craft to a superhuman level.

Oprah then and now

I feel like I’m late to this party. But as the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is NOW.

Now I’m sharing knowledge pretty much daily. Another thing this newfound revelation has inspired me to do is to instill the producer habit in my kids very early. They got iPads for Christmas, and they love to watch their kid shows on them. We made a new rule: before you consume content each day, you must first produce content. Publish something to their YouTube channels, write a story and share it, draw a picture and share it…produce something and share it with the world before you veg out on your shows.

Oh yeah, and finish your homework before you do any of that 🙂

It will be interesting to see where this skill takes them. They are just in elementary school right now, but sharing publicly is becoming the norm for them. If nothing else, maybe they won’t struggle with the confidence hurdles I stumbled over before getting comfortable sharing a little light everyday with the world. And I’m hopeful they’ll achieve Oprah-status faster than she did.

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