There are many ways to destroy someone online:
- hack/malware/ID theft/etc
- cancel them – losing it’s effectiveness thank God!
- censor them – deleting content
I’ve Been Censored
In 2015-2018 it was absolutely risky to be talking about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. By merely discussing crypto, a content creator could have their videos demonetized, censored, or ever deleted without notice!
It was at this time I began my very first YouTube channel BiteSizeBitcoin “discussing and demystifying Bitcoin and blockchain technologies.” The purpose of this channel was to educate others in my journey building applications in the space.
YouTube deleted over 3000 of my videos when my channel was at 60K subscribers and blocked my account for 3 months!
I was stunned. Shocked. Hundreds of hours of videos had been deleted. Hundreds of hours of pre-work, taping, post-processing, rendering, creating thumbnails, putting them on multiple social channels, and embedding links. All of those videos. All of that work. All of those links!!!!!!!!!!!… Now dead.
YouTube gave me nothing. No reasons, no good excuses, just delay after delay and put on indefinite hold.
My First Big Comeback – 2018 – Lesson Learned!
Up till this point in my life, I hadn’t really ever experienced a major setback in business building. How could I have ever expected that it would be in the social realm, a world that I love so much and enjoy creating content for!
Lesson #1 – Cloud Storage is Worth
The first lesson I learned was that it’s worth paying for heavy cloud storage. You love your data? Pay good money for it to be uploaded securely to the cloud. Losing years of work, data, pictures, memories isn’t worth saving a couple hundred bucks.
Lesson #2 – Backup Content to Decentralized Storage
We’re in blockchain now. My biggest issue was the fact that all of my videos and content were centrally owned by Google/YouTube and they had all the rights to do whatever they wanted with the content I gave them. The obvious irony was that I was talking about the value of decentralized technology on a centralized platform… and what do I get for it? All of my content deleted. A simple search for “decentralized storage” online will find you many new blockchain projects that allow you to ensure your data is forever. Invest in this.
Lesson #3 – Optimize the Learning of your Loss – You are NOT a Victim
Now that I had 2 years of learning how to create video content better on multiple mediums it wasn’t a time for mourning and becoming a victim. The stronger-minded ones know that the best learning comes from failure and loss. You take it. You eat it. You marinate on it. You get pissed off. You get angry. Yes. All of this. Soak it in. Digest it. Let it eat at you… just enough to get off your ass and do something about it.
I decided to take this downtime and re-optimize my workflow, purchase some new tools to make my production-value better and begin again.
Starting Over with DecentralizedTV
Not to be undone, my community and I began another YouTube channel opening up the potential for our community members to add their videos to the channel as well. This new strategy of leveraging my awesome community allowed us to open up our content to many new people and grow even faster!
We blew up and went from 0 to 90K+ subscribers in less than 6 months!
We were in hyper-build mode, averaging over 6-videos per day to help promote our startup, grow our global community, and get new meetup locations worldwide. We also got our first seed capital of $4.8M into our crypto project and it seemed like our strategy was working… until it didn’t.
YouTube Strikes 3 Times
There are two foundational elements to building startups:
The fact that two of my first blogs here have been about these ideas reveals the importance of these two factors in any type of success or mastery.
I was never sure whether it was the speed of our growth or the fact that there were still many gray areas at Google when it came to creating content in the crypto space. Regardless, they demonetized us, censored us, and removed over 5000 videos.
The Second Comeback – 2019 – Lessons Learned!
We hear a lot on the news about big-tech overreach and all of that. Until you’ve had it happen to you and you lose thousands of hours of work and precious moments captured… all because you’re talking about something that you love that the main-stream narrative doesn’t like… it’s unsettling.
You don’t become a conspiracy theorist. You become galvanized. You now know who you’re fighting against. You now know your enemy. You never wanted this to happen. You were just living the ideals of liberty: free speech, free expression, a love of life, and a desire to share what you’re building and doing.
OK OK. Big tech isn’t my enemy. Big tech is a constraint to creatives. It was time to own my own digital identity.
Lesson #4 – Digital Ownership of Content is Key – Your ONLINE ID is Yours to Manage!
Thanks to the rise of blockchain technology, we’re getting closer and closer to the realization that you will be able to fully own your own data, digital identity, and access to services. This isn’t a fantasy, I know people building these solutions today.
There are many blockchain projects focusing on digital identity and digital ownership. Google these terms and find projects that allow you to experiment, invest, or even get involved!
Lesson #5 – Decentralized Content Services – Redundancy and access!
If you’re creating any type of content and uploading it to centralized systems like:
Then they can censor, delete, remove, hide, or cancel your accounts at any time. There are many content platforms out there for video and pictures that ensure your data will never be deleted or removed!
Lesson #6 – Find Friends and Community – Mostly so you can unload.
Taking an L sucks. Find people that are willing to listen. Find community that are willing to be present. Have long talks. Enjoy a good drink. Let it all out.
In moments of loss, moments that shock your core, and where you have little control of the situation… be intentional about finding the space and time to bitch at friends about it all. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to whine. It’s ok to create scenarios. It’s ok to scream to the high heavens. It’s ok to let it all out.
Empty yourself of the negativity.
Then get back to work.
Lesson #7 – When Crushed, Get DOing
I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not about victim-mentality. You’re not a victim. Yes. You’ve had some shit thrown your way. Life didn’t go as planned. You’ve suffered some unfair situations, and frankly, it just seems like life is just unlucky.
Welcome friend. Get in line. We’re all suffering here.
It’s not about ‘being busy.’ It’s about movement. It’s about momentum. It’s about action.
When you’ve been crushed it’s absolutely something that stops you in your tracks. It creates immobility! This is what you have to fight against. Keep moving. Stay active. Take walks. A lot of them.
“When you’re going through hell. Why would you stop?”
I created a 40 minute video on how I overcame the blessing of depression. I hope this video can bless you or those you know who are going through this.
Lesson #8 – Create Something New – Loss creates a void
Many people struggle with the addition of smoking. I would know. You now have a void to fill.
In any type of loss, the vacuum can easily suck you into depression and insulation.
There is nothing like creating. It’s new. It’s novel. It’s yours.
Don’t know what to create? I’ll give you the simplest thing to start: A journal.
Create a story. Begin writing. Write your thoughts, feelings, ideas down. Oh, you’re a manly man who doesn’t write in a journal? Too big for that?
You just took a fucking L. You’re not big enough for anything anymore.
Reset Button, Again? – Faithful to the End
For those that have been on my wild journey creating videos since 2005 (I know some of you are here! Hi!), you know that video is something that became a passion of mine as well as a fortunate mechanism to let the world in on what I’m doing.
My third public incarnation of a YouTube channel become my sandbox, my place for experiments and discussing all of the things I enjoy: agile, crypto, venture capital, business building, and discussing technology news (like metaverses)! So far, YouTube has not crushed me, but they also haven’t let me grow. I’ve been shadowbanned… and they like to keep my subscribers around the 30K mark.
Building in the Shade
Lesson #9 – Appreciate the Forcing Function of Patience and Time
Whenever you’ve been crushed or taken a loss, there is an anxiety that can creep up that you feel like you’ve ‘lost time.’ Yes. I understand this well.
Time has passed. But it hasn’t been lost. You’ve grown. You’re here now. It’s time to leverage the learning.
Yes, you have to start over. But, not really. You know better now. You know how to do this better now. You’ve learned valuable lessons around relationships, people, processes, and conflict.
This time. It WILL be not only better, but it’ll be (more) you.
You don’t need to ‘enjoy the process.’ – Nobody does.
Appreciate (when you can), that you’ve now been given the time to roll anew. This time you can be far more intentional. You know stuff now. You don’t have to flail as much. The iterations come much quicker. The network already is established.
Be patient in the next build process. Nobody gotta know nuthin’ about what you’re doing. Stay the course.
Your next release of you will be epic.
Lesson #10 – Stay Positive
Do it. While you’re reading this.
See. It’s great!
Do it again.
I’m blessed. I’m a natural optimist. The glass is always half-full. The goal is always achievable. We can always do it. And it’s never impossible.
Obviously, this has created powerful opportunities for people to take advantage of me, and I’ve had to learn how to manage this disposition well… but even so, after a crushing defeat, I still need to remember to stay positive.
Sometimes even, I have to tell myself to smile. It works. It’s the cheapest anti-depressant in the world.
Why So Serious?
So, why should you smile? Because you know what others don’t. You know what you’re building. You know what you’re up to. You know what the world has been missing. You know what is in store for the future you.
Smile. You’ve been building in the shade, and so have I.
I went underground with many of my social experiments, my side-hustles, my project-work beyond the venture-funded startup I just completed.
Some of my underground projects have been baking for years…
Because my next great release of me is just around the corner.
Stay the course,