This post is going to be a bit different than past posts. This is going to be real, uncensored, and very personal. I'm sure only those who have really followed me for a while or know me personally are going to care to read it. I wanted to post it anyway because I never see other entrepreneurs post content like this, despite most of them having these kinds of conversations behind closed doors.
I've gone through a few life changes lately that were very necessary but have also left me feeling a little lost. When Joe and I pivoted to building Hard Fork Gaming and creating content in the Web3 gaming space, it was because I was so burnt out on talking about marketing and interviewing entrepreneurs. I've always had a passion for gaming and tech and wished that I could create a career talking about those things. I pivoted hard, and Joe came along for the ride.
We were very lucky early on with Hard Fork. We landed some massive clients and started making amazing video and audio content for them. The clients were happy, we were making good money, and we were in a space that I was excited to wake up and talk about everyday.
Then the bear market hit. One-by-one, the clients that we had been working with began backing off their marketing budgets and stopped renewing their contracts with us. We scrambled to find new clients, new sponsors, and new opportunities but, seemingly everyone had tightened up their pocketbooks.
After a couple months of fruitless sales calls, the stress got to Joe and he made the tough decision to step away from Hard Fork to work with his wife on her business. We went from a trio to a duo and the bear market kept getting worse. I had to dip into savings accounts and retirement accounts to continue to pay the bills as finances got tighter and tighter.
I started promoting courses and affiliate offers again to help pay the bills while also spending time every single day working to grow the Hard Fork Gaming brand.
Over the last year, while working on Hard Fork, I've learned how to do so many amazing things and really leveled up my skillsets. I immersed myself in artificial intelligence technology, virtual reality, augmented reality, broadcast quality video production, livestreaming, game engines, V-tubing, blockchain tech, tokenomics, and so much more... All the while, still staying immersed in media buying, SEO, content strategy, copywriting, and all the other digital marketing stuff I've always done.
From an education standpoint, I've leveled up sooooo much over the past year. From a financial stability standpoint, I took several steps backwards on these pursuits. I felt like it was time for a "second act" in my life in a new space and I knew I'd likely sacrifice some income to pursue what I really wanted. It felt like there would never be a "right time" to make a big pivot and that I just needed to take the leap... So I did.
Now comes the really vulnerable part...
I honestly have no idea where to go next from here. I love working on Hard Fork with my partner, Buffalo, every single day. I'm excited to jump out of bed every morning, see what's trending in the gaming and tech worlds, and go heads down on creating content with him. I am so insanely confident in the space that we're in and that the content we're creating will resonate with people as our brand grows. The topics of gaming and future tech will always have a massive market and it's only a matter of time before we really break through in that space.
At the same time, I also need to put some focus on pursuits that will generate income more consistently. I'm at this crossroads where, I know I'm going to continue to put in the work on Hard Fork but also know that I need to build something on the side for the short-term cashflow.
That's where I'm stuck right now. I feel like I've got this massive stack of skills that would be valuable to literally any company. However, the one skill I never built up well is sales. I've always been a creator and an analytical problem solver but I've always sucked at selling myself.
Now I find myself essentially journaling in public, hoping that someone might read this and reach out saying "I know exactly what you should do!" or "Hey, I read your post, I could use help with X."
Over the years, I've always been self-conscious about presenting myself in a way that might imply I don't have things figured out. But that's stupid... Who has everything figured out? The truth is that I excel in building things and solving technical problems and I'm absolute shit at things like networking and sales. Joe filled that roll in our business...
Here's a quick list of skills I'd consider myself in the intermediate to advanced range now...
- Artificial Intelligence - Art / Video / Audio / Text
- Broadcast Quality Livestreaming
- Video Creation / Editing
- Email Marketing
- Media Buying - Facebook / Google / YouTube / Twitter
- Automations / Integrations - Making Tools Work Together
- Audio Production / Editing
- Blockchain / Web3 - Wallets / Bridging / Exchanges / Etc.
- Computer Hardware Setups / Streaming & Gaming Rigs
- Web Development - Blogs / Landing Pages / Sales Pages / Checkouts / Etc.
- Building out Protected Members Areas
- Building and Running Discord Communities
I'm a bit of a "Jack of all trades" and master of a few. :)
What really lights me up is combining multiple tools to make cool things happen. For instance, generating an avatar with AI, syncing it up to talk when you talk to a camera, and using it to livestream an event... Or building an opt-in form directly in Twitter that opts people into your Active Campaign email list, DMs them on Twitter, and sends them a link to an offer in both Twitter and email...
Challenges like that are what really get me going. I like to get creative with my combination of tech skills to figure out how to make things happen that most "non-techy" people would spend weeks trying to figure out (if at all).
But again, I suck at selling these skills to others...
I've been calling myself a "digital life hacker" because I don't really know how to define my unique stack of skills. At the end of the day, I love to be an early adopter of cool tech that's under-the-radar and then figure out how to leverage it to make life easier or to improve/automate a business.
And now here I am, writing to you, hoping that maybe someone reading this will know the perfect fit for what I'm capable of.
I've considered courses like:
- Using AI for Entrepreneurs and Marketers
- Discord for Entrepreneurs and Marketers
- High-Production Video for Entrepreneurs and Marketers
I'm not a huge fan of putting out courses anymore because of the pace at which the tech I talk about moves. However, I'll definitely be putting some of these together if it seems there's enough interest (and once people see what I've been able to do, I'm sure there will be interest).
I'd also love to work directly with people or companies who might have a need for something that I could help them with.
At Hard Fork, we're even opening our production house to anyone who needs help getting high-quality videos, livestreams, or webinars produced. We made a page about what we can offer here.
I've also created the "Supporter" program for this blog where, for $10/month, I create extra content and perks for those that support this site. If I ever get that to 1,000 members, I'll likely never charge for courses again and, instead, just make any new stuff available to supporters... But I've got a long way to hit that milestone.
Like I said at the beginning, I'm a bit lost. I know I have valuable skills, I know I can help a lot of people and I know I need to keep the majority of my focus on building and growing Hard Fork. But I also know that there are people out there that need help in the exact areas I can help them with.
To anyone who stuck around and read my entire rambling, I really appreciate you. I promise that future blog posts won't be all about me. I just needed to be transparent because, like everyone else, I'm still figuring this out as I go along.
Your support means everything to me and I'm excited to share more mind-blowing tech and digital lifehacks with you as I go deeper down this rabbit-hole.
- I'm still focused on Hard Fork fulltime
- I've got a ton of skills in marketing, production, and tech.
- I'm not sure how to best leverage my "skill stack"
- I really suck at selling myself
- I'll likely be making some courses on these topics soon
- I'd also love to work with a few cool projects that could use my skills
- If you need help with video production, Hard Fork can help with that too