Be selfish. (+ other behind-the-scenes thoughts on creating The Unmistakable Effect)
Now that ma new project, The Unmistakable Effect, is out in da world, I have a handful of thoughts and lessons from the whole creation and launch process that I’ve been wanting to share.
I always love reading these posts from other people, and I love writing them myself too! I’d only really been working on this thing for a couple months before I launched — which isn’t that long at all, in the scheme of things, but I wanted to write a little about the whole process, and why I chose to do some things a very particular way.
I also feel like it’s worth adding here that this whole thing — The Unmistakable Effect is a very long-game offering for me… And obvs it’s still SUPER new! I know that these thoughts and my approach or reasoning for doing things a certain way might change over time, and I’m down with that.
// What if it was easy?
I don’t mean this in the sense that it’s a total breeze or that you don’t have to do the work… But what if you just felt so fucking ALIVE when you create, that the work just flows out of you? When you lose hours on hours…. and you forget to eat… and you want to work through the night because you just have to get this work out of you…
You know how stuff just happens when you’re in your zone of genius?
In the space of a few weeks, I’d come up with the magazine idea, come up with a rough plan for how it could all work, laid out the vibe for the first issue, designed a bunch of covers for various issues, and also set up a page layout — and I was pretty damn stoked on all of it.I kept thinking, fuck… Is it allowed to be this easy? Shouldn’t I have to slave away for months and months on this thing?
Then the more I started to think about it, it kinda hit me that maybe this is what happens when you’re in your zone of genius, doing the shit you’re meant to be doing. This is something that even feels kinda scary to write about because I’m all ‘Uh people will probably think I’m a total jerk’… But hey, I’m just telling it how it is.
// Be selfish… Do it your way.
I gotta say, I feel like I went into this whole project in a pretty selfish way… And I’m not sorry about it for a single second.
When I started trying to think about what new project I wanted to create, I was way too focused on trying to make something people NEEDED… But it was only once I stopped focusing so hard on that, and really started to think about what I wanted to see in this world, that shit started flowing a lot easier.
As soon as the overall concept for The Unmistakable Effect started to come to me, I knew that I had to make it happen regardless of what anyone else thought. The way I see it, there’s no point creating big projects like this unless YOU’RE fucking pumped about it. Sure, sometimes we make stuff cause we need money or because we know theres a space for it, and thats cool… But when you wanna make something new and fresh, you gotta go big or go home.
YOU have to hold the vision.
YOU have to bring it to life in a way that gets you stoked — so you can do your best work, and see it through.
But the thing is? I think even when we are being selfish, it’s a win-win. When you can make stuff that gets you so damn excited you wanna piss your pants, it shows. People pick up on those vibes… And there’s just something magical that goes down when you commit to being in your zone of genius.
So there was a few things I was very, very specific about that I thought I’d share ::
1 :: Underdo the competition
I wanted this to be SIMPLER than many other offerings out there, mostly because I personally was getting so sick of all the extra (mostly useless) shit being offered alongside products… And because I felt that something very stripped back is needed.
So this meant...
No membership site.
No blog or social media accounts specifically for The Unmistakable Effect.
No separate website or sales page.
No Facebook community.
One payment plan.
Aside from wanting this thing to be SIMPLE as fuck, adding all of this stuff doesn’t currently serve the overall vision I have for TUE, nor does it really serve the audience I want to attract.
2 :: The pricing
Before I dive into any more pricing-related stuff, I just want to say that I’m not writing this because I feel the need to justify the price or ‘ explain’ it — I just always think its interesting to read why people do certain things, so I figured I’d share.
I knew from the get-go that there was no way I wanted to go under $20 a month with the pricing. (TUE is priced at $27 USD per month). I understand there are a lot of rad offerings out there in that range, but for me personally I struggle to see the value in them… Anything lower than $20 makes me question the quality and whether its even worth my time, so it didn’t make sense to go lower than that.
I realise that pricing your products is a big deal and obviously they need to be positioned in a way to attract your dream clients or customers, but it also HAS to be something that you feel good about, otherwise you’re just screwing yourself over.
A big reason for me pricing it at this point was also so that I could bring on contributors and (eventually) compensate them, for their time and skills and badassery. My vision for this is that it’s a super fun + collaborative offering that gives back and invests in creatives and writers and people out there doing the damn work. I want to feature fucking cool people, and I don’t expect them to work for me for free forever.
One other thing I want to mention here, is that I wanted to step away from the traditional advertising model that many traditional magazines use… I am definitely open advertising and collabs in the future (and only with companies who are very aligned with the mission), but I wanted to switch it up. I want this thing to be a quality offering that’s a little different from what we’re used to seeing.
// Detaching from the outcome.
As I was jamming away on creating this thing, I found myself hangin out in a book store in Vancouver one day, so I thought I’d pick up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and see what goodness I could find.
So theres this one section about outcomes and fierce trust...
“Fierce trust demands that you put forth the work anyway, because fierce trust knows that the outcome does not matter. The outcome cannot matter.”
This hit me pretty hard and I knew that I had to adopt these vibes for the magazine. It’s a project that I’m so fucking passionate about, that I can’t expect any kind of certain outcome. Sure, I have a big vision for this thing and where I would love for it to go, but in a way I’ve had to really let that vision go and just be open to whatever comes my way.
// On fear.
Even when you’re so damn in your zone, and you’re working on a project that you’re passionate-as-fuck about, you’re not immune to fear… This is something I’ve learned to understand, and just respect. I don’t buy into the whole ‘fuck fear’ thing — because it’s not about that AT ALL. It’s about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It’s about being MORE stoked about what you’re making, than you are afraid of failure.
When I was working on creating TUE, there was one mantra I kept repeating to myself over and over.
‘Everything is temporary.'
The obvious one — life is temporary. We ain’t here forever. We only have a limited amount of time to make the shit we wanna make, so we can’t let fear stop us.
And this thing I’m creating… It’s gonna end at some point anyway (because nothing lasts forever).
So… what are you waiting for?