About one year ago I took an interest in You Tube. I realized I spent alot of my time watching You Tube videos and since I was living a full life of teaching, exploring and dancing in South Korea, I though it could be a great platform to share my story.
I talked about it with my close friends and they all encouraged me. I went out, bought a selfie stick and brought it along with me on all my outings.
It was awkward as heck at first! I am not someone who loves to be the center of attention. My first vlog venture was with my good friend Orna as we set out to the streets of Hongdae, Seoul like any typical weekend for us. We went to our favorite American breakfast spot, Travelmaker’s Cafe and ordered the usual feast- waffles, eggs, hash browns, and coffee. I propped my iPhone up on the side of the table and hit record.
I couldn’t stop giggling and awkwardly trying to make my normal conversations with a close friend look normal. After eating, we walked around passing by all the trendy shops like and I quickly realized how uncomfortable I was holding that long selfie stick in front of me and talking to the phone, smiling, and reacting towards it. I stopped recording after a very short time because I just felt so weird. I thought, “Everyone MUST be looking at ME! They must think I’m one of those conceited girls!”
I had the camera away the rest our time in Hongdae. I was frustrated with myself. On one hand I was super embarrassed to hold the selfie stick and on the other hand I felt so accomplished for having actually filmed my first vlog!
When the day was over, that week Orna helped teach me some film/editing basics on iMovie. When the final project was done I was so SO proud and excited to share my little story with the world.
The next time I vlogged I was still embarrassed but it was a smudge easier.
My motto for vlogging, like most things I feel uncomfortable with, was “fake it till you make it!” The more I vlogged, the easier it became and the better I became at filming, being myself in front of the camera, timing, editing, etc.
I don’t have a big following at all but with consistency I saw my subscribers grow and people began to comment and like my videos. After some time, my schedule and life became super busy and hectic and I stopped consistently vlogging, consequently my engagement and growth of my channel basically stopped.
My point, a quote said by my wise younger brother, “Your success is only limited by your inaction”. I was nervous as heck when I started vlogging but I didn’t allow fear to stop me. If you are a introverted extrovert like me you can have some conflicting ideals. Wanting to vlog and share my experience with the world and at the same time, wanting to stay are from being the center of attention, doesn’t really make sense. Sharing my story means shining light on myself. Hello fear!
I encourage anyone reading this to look fear in the eyes and realize it has no purpose for being there. Don’t let your passions and urges pass you by because of fear. Don’t talk yourself out of doing something you keep thinking about because of fear. Don’t let fear allow you to count all the things that could go wrong because chances are there’s a list twice as long of things that could go right!
Grab life by the balls and throw yourself out there!
The response I got from friends was great, and complete strangers were enjoying my videos. Things really took off when Stephen came into the picture! My storyline quickly shifted from a girl in Korea to a young AMBW couple in Korea. You never know what taking a chance and betting on YOURSELF will bring!
Nowadays I am setting new goals for my Tonya’s World channel on YouTube and for this blog you are currently reading. I am constantly researching about how to grow my brand and online presence. The initial start-up and maintaining momentum for any project can be overwhelming and daunting. I try to break my goals up into short-term and long term.
If you you relate at all to this post please let me know! Putting yourself out there is simultaneously one of the hardest and best things you can do for yourself.