Creative Director & Podcast Host

Bird by Bird - By Ricky Richards

It started as Youtube, and ended in the meaning of life.

I’m thinking of extending my podcasting efforts to Youtube. I came to this conclusion begrudgingly. I’m not a huge fan on Youtube because it’s a place where so much time is dedicated to relative nonsense. Never the less, I appreciate that it is the Zeitgeist of the time.

Despite having zero desire to appeal to the world of click bait, it still strikes me as a wise choice. The reason I began podcasting, was because I’m a huge fan of the medium. The community of podcasters tends to be a crowd that values intellectual debate, personal improvement and life long learning. This is without doubt my crowd. Unfortunately however, I've had a few epiphanies that have opened my eyes to the power of Youtube, even for someone like me, someone with no entertainment presence.

The first is a video I made over a year ago, reviewing an autobiography of Elon Musk’s book, which has subsequently received nearly 2000 views. This was achieved organically, despite the complete lack of quality.

This is undoubtedly down to the popularity of Elon Musk and my timely reading of his book after launch. Despite this, 2000 views is more watches than all the listening figures of my podcast put together. It’s therefore safe to assume that adding video to my show will, if only when the subject matter is timely, add to it’s reach.

But why do I want reach?

 

I am genuine when I claim that I started the podcast purely for my own interest and personal development. But I’d be lying to myself, if I didn’t deep down wish that I could make learning and sharing my insights with others a full time gig. Not because I desire to have fans, but because I value learning, and without an audience, It’s very difficult to make learning and teaching financially viable.

As an example, I’ve been captivated recently by a series on Netflix uncovering the wonders of the solar system hosted by Brian Cox. This was the first time I’d ever watched Brian Cox, and it strikes me that he has the best job in the world.

Not that I am so much interested in Physics, as amazing as it is. But that he gets paid to be a discover. He does that by sharing his passions and insight with other people. Along with Tim Ferriss, I’ve added Brian Cox to my list of people in positions I find enviable, not because of their net worth, but their success in turning their curiosity into their source of income.

What does this have to do with Youtube? Well even in the documentary film ‘The Hitch’ made about the legendary writer and Atheist Christopher Hitchens, even he, held testament to the power of Youtube as a force of spreading his work.

And as un-stereotypically Youtube friendly as I am, I’m unlikely to be any less of a stereotypical Youtuber in my life than Christopher Hitchens.

So as Picasso once said, ‘Others have seen what is and asked why? I have seen what could be and asked why not.

I look at my actions a good percentage of the time and ask if what I am doing is a worthy use of time. What constitutes as worthy is something I’m still unsure about fully. Who’s to say that my opinions are right, or that what I deem important is important at all.

That being said, I still find the times when I podcast about topics that are innately human, be that happiness or even the phycology behind ads, to be some of my most rewarding endeavours.

I really hope I am right in thinking that art, and the action towards and propagation of forward thinking ideas is the most worthy use time.

And that it’s admirable to not just be passive and live life along a tried and tested path towards death. But to question what our precious time should be spent doing. And to endeavour whole-heartedly to move towards that ideal.

There’s a saying that ‘the pursuit of Happiness is the biggest source of unhappiness,’ which is arguably true of chasing an ideal, because anything you hold us an ideal, implicitly implies that anything less is less than ideal, and hence, not the most fulfilling state to be in.

Maybe I should be content in being unheard. Instead of putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I hope, if anyone has read to this point, that you’ve realised by now that this post is a stream of consciousness and not a well thought out post. I’ve come along way in the last ten minutes. Maybe now’s a good time to stop thinking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricky Richards