Why It’s Important To Start

“There are two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life: a) not finishing or b) not starting” Buddah Gautama

Starting anything must be one of the most traumatizing or exhilarating experiences in life. The cocktail of emotion (anxiety, fear of failure, the imposter syndrome, excitement or overconfidence) that comes with taking the leap of faith towards our dreams can be overwhelming. It can cripple one to a point where many never dare to start.

Picture taken by Timefreeze Studios

Much like the many things I’ve attempted to do in my life, the decision to be intentional about creating content has been an overwhelming experience. I’ve struggled with my imposter syndrome, often feeling like I am not skilled or good enough. The fear of putting myself out there also made me extremely vulnerable. I literally exposed myself to a plethora of feedback; positive and negative – whether solicited or not. I suppose it comes with putting yourself out there right?

With each blog post, YouTube video, interview and podcast I was brave enough to upload and post, the anxiety that came with this took a toll on my mental health. It initially exposed how little I knew about cinematography which was embarrassing. Cinematography according to Wikipedia is the art of motion-picture photography and filming. Did I know this when I started? Good grief, I couldn’t even properly pronounce “cinematography” let alone know what it entailed. I also did not know just how steep the cost of production was. How naive can one be?

The question then becomes how did I start? How did I go about it?

Just like Buddah Gautama said “ the two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life are not finishing or not starting.” When I decided I wanted to create content I didn’t know how I’d go about it, but I knew in my heart that it’s what I wanted and needed to do. My first step was to share my dream and vision with my accountability partner. There is something special about telling someone your dream. It somehow breathes life into the dream or vision and ignites a spark of possibilities. Telling my accountability partner was also important because once he knew, it wouldn’t be easy for me to chicken out when things got tough (which is usually the case). Let’s be honest though, once you’ve verbalized your dream, there is this uncomfortable feeling and expectation that you need to actually act on it and start. This is usually very overwhelming.

Scenes from Episode 2. Picture by Titan Lens

To avoid starting, I suddenly came up with excuses why I couldn’t start immediately- allowing myself to procrastinate. I came up with excuses such as “I do not have the right equipment or have the right skills yet”. I convinced myself why I was not ready to start mainly because, in truth, I was scared, very traumatised by what I’d just committed to do – TKay a content creator ???

Episode 5 (Part 1) taken by Titan Lens

Our #Talksoverlinford journey started in December 2019 when my accountability partner and I decided enough with the excuses, it’s time to start. We were at the Roof Top at the American Corner in Maseru, when I took out my smartphone to record the conversation- the very first episode of #Talksoverlinford. The lighting and quality of the video were terrible, but we recorded and uploaded the video anyway. Soon thereafter, we did a second episode which was equally poor quality in terms of audio. We posted it nonetheless. What was important was that we started. We took that very first step even though we didn’t have everything we needed.

The thing about starting anything is that if the vision is big enough, the ideas keep coming and the creativity kicks in. An African proverb says “If you want to go fast then go alone. If you want to go far go together”. We then decided to collaborate with other young entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do – content curators, creative strategists, sound engineers and videographers. We connected with other young entrepreneurs who were keen to sponsor food, drinks and equipment to help us bring the vision to life. Things started to happen – from episode 2, we recorded a new episode and uploaded and posted it.

The quality of our production improved with each episode. We improved the quality of our content by working with thought leaders across different industries who were keen to share their stories. Mistakes were made, relationships took strain and lessons were learnt, but we kept moving. At times, the budget was not available but this did not deter us. People criticised us and this almost broke us. Other people cheered us on, motivating us to keep going.

Today, we’ve posted seven episodes (officially nine) of #talksoverlinford on YouTube. We’ve worked with and promoted many local brands. I’ve had the privilege to talk to young Basotho doing amazing work in entrepreneurship, education, mental health, the creative space, sex education and gender-based violence (GBV). I’ve worked with a team of passionate, hard-working and determined young people who bring their best every day.

Reflecting on the last 12 months of this journey, I’ve learnt so many lessons including being able to pronounce “cinematography”. I’ve learnt to sincerely apologize to people I’ve hurt along the way and mend bridges. I’ve learned to accept feedback and learn from the best in the game. What’s key for me however is that I started, we started. As we draw towards the end of 2020, I challenge us to take a moment to think about everything we’ve wanted to start. If like me you were traumatized by taking that first step, I want to encourage you to take that leap and do it.

Episode 5 – picture by Titan Lens

Once you’ve started, make sure you keep going and finish what you started. Happy holidays and remember to check out #Talksoverlinford and other amazing content on my YouTube channel https://youtube.com/c/TKayNthebe

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