Creator Economy

Creator Moneyball with Maayan Gordon, founder of Gormaay

Released on 
Mar 9, 2023
10 minutes
Written by
Mike Faber

This is a transcript of the Creator Moneyball show available on YouTube here.

In this pilot episode of the Creator Moneyball with Maayan Gordon we talk about:

The Journey
  • Maayan’s journey from entrepreneurship to becoming an influencer 
  • How acquiring business skills helps with audience monetization
  • Why Vendo was started by Damian Legawiec and Mike Faber
How Creators shape their overall monetization and revenue driving strategy
  • Why receiving monetary benefits or rewards is key for any creator 
  • How to create value for the audience early to monetize it later
  • How to improve the creator value proposition through testing
How Creators may start a low-effort eCommerce business of their own
  • Pick some products, wrap them in storytelling, post it in drops / new arrivals
  • Experiment with product categories to see what resonates and sells
  • Understand where your audience sees enough value to spend their money
Unfair advantages that Creator eCommerce businesses have over any other
  • Creators yield authority and have built up trust with their audience
  • Creator’s eCommerce business isn’t seasonal or single-product based
  • Creator’s eCommerce brand is defensible and hard to copy
How much money can Creators make through their own eCommerce business
How to stay motivated and snowball your eCommerce business into a success
Maayan: Welcome to Creator Moneyball, where we talk about creator monetization best practices, building a community around a personal brand, and creator motivation, mental health, and preventing burnout. 

Hi, my name is Maayan Gordon, and I'm a content creator with 2.3 million followers on Tiktok. 

Mike: Hi, my name is Mike Faber. I'm a co founder of Vendo, which is a platform that creators can use to start an online store and monetize our audience. Maayan, we met a few weeks back. I've been asking you a lot of questions about the creator economy, about your journey. So maybe, if you could please share your journey with our viewers and listeners? 

Maayan: Absolutely, it would be my pleasure. So I got into content creation through entrepreneurship. I was going to college to get a chemistry degree, and really not enjoying lecture classes and college and started realizing that I was paying a ridiculous amount of money for something that I didn't even enjoy. 

So at the time, I was also doing freelance copywriting, I dropped out of college to start to do that full time. And that was going really well. But after a while, I got really tired of chasing the next gig and spending hours of time just trying to find a next job to then do that job in a couple hours. So I decided to solve that problem by starting my first business. 

Over the past 12 years, I've started up five different businesses consecutively. And I've used social media for every single one of those to really make them successful, especially when it comes to marketing and branding, but also monetizing and making sales and creating revenue for these businesses. 

My third business was a glassblowing business. And this is the one that pushed me off of just being on Instagram and diversified to LinkedIn. As you mentioned, we got to connect through LinkedIn. But then Tik Tok took off phenomenally quickly for me. And that's what allowed me to grow this amazing audience of 2.3 million followers. 

And then about three years ago, I started a consulting business where I started sharing all of my knowledge, experience and insights on all of these social media platforms with other brands and businesses. 

So really, in the past three years, I've been able to evolve from just being an entrepreneur to an influencer, and a consultant that works with other businesses as well. 

Tell me Mike, what is your journey? How did you get to where we are today?

Mike: Together with my co-founder, Damian, we've been in ecommerce consulting for many, many years. And we've been developing custom ecommerce platforms, mostly for celebrity-led businesses from the Los Angeles area, also, media businesses from the East Coast. And the common denominator that those projects was basically the combination of content, community and commerce. 

But the downside for those projects were that we were taking several months, or maybe even years to develop. And I guess we found that not many people or businesses could afford such an effort, right? 

So when the pandemic broke out, many people started coming to us. eCommerce exploded and many people were starting to ask questions about drop shipping and starting their own marketplace. But when they found out, you know, about the required budget and what is the level of effort required, they weren't really interested. 

So we decided that maybe we should start a Software as a Service platform like Shopify, but for marketplaces. Natively built for dropshipping, with everything built in, an all-in-one platform. 

I guess what people wanted was not to tweak and combine different modules and plugins or figuring out if they are working together nicely and playing nicely. They just wanted to be done with it and start selling. 

Mike: Since this is Creator Moneyball, I had to ask you about your monetization strategies and your take at Creator monetization? 

Maayan: Absolutely. I've been, you know, really fortunate to have a very diverse set of experiences when it comes to monetizing. So I would say the first way in which I monetized as a creator was by promoting my own products and services. So you know, starting out really from the perspective that I'm a business owner, more than I'm a creator, I think was really advantageous to help me to monetize quickly because I was looking at my content creation strategy, as part of an overall monetization and revenue driving strategy. And I think honestly, any creator has the ability to do this. 

And when you ask, you know, what have I seen be successful for other creators? I think that mentality that even if you're starting out, and you don't have, let's say, a really clearly defined product to sell, or you don't have a real clarity on what the brand you're building, even is that thinking about your content creation, thinking about your brand, as a business is going to help help you get there more quickly. And it'll help put pressure on figuring out what are you selling.

We're all selling something as content creators, whether we're selling entertainment value, whether we're selling educational value, we're providing some type of value in exchange for people paying attention to our content. And that, to me is, you know, a form of monetization that we should be thinking about from the revenue side. 

As I evolved in my businesses, as I evolved as a content creator, and eventually kind of got into the sphere of influencer marketing. Then I started realizing the power of collaboration. And I think, you know, brand collaborations, sponsorships, partnerships of any kind are a phenomenal way for any type of content creator to monetize.

And when I say any type, I don't just mean categorically based on industry. I mean, size as well. So I think, you know, one of the big questions that I assume many people watching this podcast are going to have is, how do I make money at the early stages of my content creation career of my content journey, because we all know, the sooner we can start making some amount of money, the more motivated we're going to feel to keep putting in the work. It's so much easier to keep working on something when you're receiving some type of benefit or reward. 

And I know that the message out there is create content just because you love to create content. But let's be honest, even those of us who love to create content, don't enjoy doing it every single day. 

There's lots of people who don't enjoy creating content, maybe you love the thing you're promoting or creating content about but the actual content creation isn't as much fun for you. It might never be as much fun for you as the thing you enjoy doing. 

Like, let's take skateboarding, maybe you love skateboarding, you're super dope, you can do all sorts of tricks. Or maybe you aspire to be, you know, someone who competes in the X Games. But you're not the biggest fan of like filming videos, right? 

So how do you provide motivation, self motivation, that might have to come through some type of financial benefit, right, where you can kind of rationalize in your head, I just want to skateboard all day long. Okay, that's true. But if I make this video today, I can expect at the end of the week to have made $50 or I have some new members or subscribers to my community, whatever that reward is, that's going to be meaningful to you. 

And for most people, money is a pretty meaningful reward. So structuring brand deals and partnerships and sponsorships early is absolutely something that I want more beginner creators to go after, because it doesn't just rely on your numbers or your video or content performance. It really stems and relies on the base values that your brand holds and supports. 

If your brand is based around a strong mission, or strong core values that you believe lots of people share, that is enough for you to form some of these partnerships, in doing it early only, not only, not only creates more motivation for you, but really builds momentum into the more monetized parts of of your journey, right?

In the beginning, there is going to be less opportunity to monetize, but it's still there. And if you start early, you're gonna build way more momentum for when you do have a large following. And I can tell you from my own journey, I really wish I'd thought about monetization of my brand. And not just my products and my businesses much earlier because now when I have 2.3 million followers, I'd be way better set up to monetize that audience and to make money and create value if I'd been thinking about it sooner. 

So don't wait until you have the huge audience to start thinking about monetization in the world. 

Mike: I'm telling this to myself every single day if I knew then what I know now, I would do things differently. But I think from what you're saying is that some people explicitly start off with an explicit mission because they have a business and they have a product to sell. And they know what needs they are fulfilling or what problem we are solving. And some other people have a passion or hobby, something they love to do, like skateboarding, but there are many other people who also like to skateboard and spend some time in the skate park and basically their needs are aligned. So whatever helps me also will help some other skateboarders. 

But what if I'm not sure, I mean, how to help people start off on the right foot and how to help creators that are just starting off, to shape that mission and that value proposition for their audience? 

Maayan: That's a really good question. How do you start figuring things out when you're in that early stage? 

I can tell you from my own journey, even in the beginning, when I thought I knew the direction I wanted to go, well, guess what - I was wrong. It ended up being a completely different direction. So I think when you're starting out, your brand is guaranteed to evolve. 

Now, it might stay in the same category of videos or content, you might even want to have the same kind of structure around your monetization, but having the idea that this is going to evolve as I'm learning and figuring things out. Yeah, I think that's so crucial and key. 

How do you lean into that, as a beginning content creator, I think is really through testing. And this is something I'm actively doing right now, which is I spend, you know, a percentage of my time just going out researching, seeing what's out there and testing things. 

And that's partially how this podcast and relationship formed and maybe you could kind of answer the question, what is Vendo? Because you know, me coming across Vendo is how we ended up here. 

Mike: Vendo is a platform that allows creators to start a very low-effort eCommerce business. You just pick some products, and then you merchandise your store with those products according to a mission and the problem that you're solving or the need that you're fulfilling.

And then if you know what you're talking about, because you know your audience, because you know yourself and your own needs, then it's easy for you to wrap the eCommerce business, the products, into some storytelling, into some content, and then present it to your audience in the form of posts or drops or new arrivals, or whatever you call it. 

Then just keep delighting your audience with new tips & tricks. If you're into fashion, that means that maybe it's the latest trends or things that you can combine that make up a nice set or outfit. 

If you're into drinking coffee, when it's like the latest experiences that you've had, or the coffee or the equipment that you're enjoying. 

And as long as you know what you're talking about you can combine those products with storytelling. 

Maayan: What I love about that is that it fits very nicely into how you experiment with things. Well, anyone watching this or listening to this right now, you're just like me, and that you are not a single-desire-based person, you probably have many varying desires, needs, hobbies, likes, and so it's all about finding, which are the ones that are really going to be, you know, moving the needle. 

So there's in many different industries, kind of like an 80/20 rule where 80% of your revenue orr 80% of your fans are coming from 20% of your posts or 20% of your products. So when it comes to figuring out both the brand side and what you're going to be posting about and content, but also the monetization side, because those two things should be aligned, testing out which of the things that you really enjoy the most is that 20% I think is really crucial. 

To give you guys an example, I am a glassblower. And I love making art. I've got four dogs, and I love my dogs. I love food and cooking. Now, not all of those things are going to monetize equally for me. So for me in this next phase, I'm going to be a user of Vendo. I'm very excited to try out the platform, but I'm going to be testing out all of these different things that I naturally love, they're very much a part of, of my personal brand, so I'm going to be doing and using anyways, I make coffee every single morning, I love the pour over method because it's very like meditative for me. So creating content around that and posting it and seeing how it performs against maybe a video where I'm putting on a cute outfit on my French Bulldog, who's adorable. 

Again, those are two kinds of content that I would maybe normally make in seeing which ones perform the best because it's not something you can always guess. And it's always something best if you test for it and against it. And I think it's likely that anyone will find, maybe there's like one or two products, or one or two categories of product that you can crush it in. And the rest you're gonna have as well as kind of like supportive products and kind of you to round out your brand and say, Yes, I love my coffee. But by the way, I also think these running shoes that I buy are super comfy, because I walk around all the time, and I highly recommend them. And maybe you only sell one pair of running shoes a month, but the coffee is crushing it. And together you have this beautiful cohesive brand where you're not just pushing one product, you're pushing your personal brand, your lifestyle, the things that you discover and love. 

I think that's a great way to test out which areas you should build your entire brand around. Because the areas that are monetizing, people are letting you know, this is where we are getting value from you as a content creator. And it's really important. And I think that's something that's missed a lot in the monetization. 

Conversation around monetization isn't just about money. It's about understanding where your audience sees so much value, they're willing to exchange money for that value. Because building a brand is really just about creating value for your audience. 

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. 100%. And you know what, dropshipping traditionally was about impersonal ecommerce, selling a single product, not even the full spectrum, a full catalog of products, but a single product that made sense any given time of year. 

For example, if it's September, you start thinking about products for the winter season. Let's sell goggles for snowboarders and skiers, right? But come February or March, you're looking for products that will sell well in spring. 

But that's very impersonal. 

And I think what makes it different for creators and how creators can stand out is they can curate their product catalog that is a sum of all of our experiences and all of our interests and basically represents who they are, because our followers are subscribing and following them because they like the lifestyle, the personality of the person that we're watching. 

That also is great for business, because you could be selling shoes and outdoor clothing. And you could be sharing your thoughts about products that your dogs like, you could be sharing your artsy passions and home decor choices. And all of that makes up who you are. 

Maayan: Yeah, exactly. And I think you make a really interesting point, which I hadn't thought about before around drop shipping. It used to be entirely focused on the timeliness of products. I know some people who used to be big Amazon sellers, then they kind of switched to Shopify drop shipping model, and they have to do a ton of research to find what's the next product that's going to be really really popular and have like a high search demand is usually how they're able to kind of like figure that out. 

But there is no longevity to that no matter how well a product sells. They know that come next month, they're gonna have to find an entirely new product because they are focusing on the desirability of just the product and in a timeliness matter. 

Compared to everyone who's watching this show, it's a completely different mindset of the customer. They want a recommendation. It's not based on a timeliness factor. It's based on you, the influencer, the content creator, and their trust in your opinions on products, on lifestyle. And that's a really cool angle to take because it's much more evergreen. 

If I tell you that, you know this is a great raincoat because it's 100% waterproof and the zipper slides really easily and doesn't get stuck. That's true for anytime in the future. And they trust my opinion on that. It's not based on them needing a raincoat, you know this this week because they see a storm coming up. 

It's a different kind of thoughtfulness that the audience puts into, I think, the purchasing decisions versus a lot of the existing Shopify dropshipping model which is based on impulse buying. 

In fact, I know some people whose entire design and strategy of their Shopify stores is to target people who are like 65+ who are on Facebook from 11pm to 3am in the morning, because that's when people make the worst kind of impulse buying decisions around these types of products. 

This is really how you build something that's much more stable, something that's much longer term, and that to your point is curated around your actual life and your actual brand, not forcing you to pick from whatever product is on a marketplace that you may or may not have any actual interest in. 

Mike: Very true. What dropshippers have found in the past, is that they get copied very quickly. So if I'm selling product A, in two weeks time, everybody will be selling product A, if it sells. And not only that, there is no social proof behind it. Because my stor is very impersonal. So it's very easy to copy, there is no social proof, there is no personality and story behind it, no authority, right? 

And with creators, it's completely different. Because what creators are all about is building relationships, and trust. And this trust goes a long way. It works, you know, any season of the year and any week of the year. And basically people are coming to your channels to converse with you, to talk to you, to interact with you, not because of the products that you're selling, right?

It's a completely different chapter, I think, and the entire creator economy that is taking off, probably transitioning away from using only affiliate links, now will be selling through their own store with their own personal brand, endorsing their brand instead of endorsing Amazon, instead of endorsing some other players out there. 

Creators can actually leverage those relationships and it's a win-win situation compared to those single product dropshipping businesses that just go out of business in five weeks time when everybody's copying your product selection. 

Mike: Okay, that was a really good foundational discussion, I'm sure we will be following up on all of these topics. When we talk, talk to our guests in the future episodes. And maybe now let's switch gears and go into Q&A. I'm going to ask you some questions, you're going to ask me some questions, and maybe we can learn something from each other. 

So my first question, well, a very obvious one, is what are your favorite channels? I know you've used many of them and creators usually do. But what are your favorites? And maybe also from that perspective, what works on what channels? 

Maayan: I have different favorites for different reasons. So I would say LinkedIn is my favorite for building real relationships. You just get phenomenal access to people that you're not going to be able to connect with on other platforms. And people are generally like a little bit more serious on LinkedIn which is really nice when you're trying to build a solid, you know, friendship or like business relationship.

I would say Tik Tok is my favorite for creativity. Like it's just, it's inspiring to see what other people are creating content wise. The comments section is hilarious on Tik Tok. If you just need a good laugh, go to any viral video and you'll just hear the comments are all kinds of people roasting each other or different groups just being kind of silly and funny on it. 

And then I love a lot of the content creation features on Tik Tok, they have a lot of really cool AR modules and filters that are interactive. So I enjoy content creation the most on Tik Tok

Instagram I do as well, but I don't think it ranks as a favorite in necessarily any particular category. It's a good place to be. I guess my favorite thing about Instagram is Instagram stories. So I do really like the dynamic that you can post a bunch of just like very non-edited raw kind of videos to your Instagram stories and have a behind the scenes of your life scenario. So I really like doing that.

Mike: A year ago I would tell you that I love newsletter publishers the most because they actually own their email list and they can communicate with their subscribers. 

But then I started thinking about, okay, but it's not a very visually appealing way. Right? So then a few weeks ago, I was thinking YouTube, this is the ultimate monetization channel. Because it's a long form video medium, and it allows you to place the links in the post. Then YouTube shorts happened in response probably to Tik Tok and Instagram introducing similar features. 

And then I started thinking, okay, maybe, maybe Tik Tok is the thing as it forces that short form video, and users probably have a slightly shorter attention span, which forces you to be very well, to the point. And you have to be really witty and smart and clever, and produce those hooks. Sort of like commercials, you know, we're coming full circle. 

But then I started thinking, okay, but this is maybe a medium for a younger audience. So then I went back to Instagram, which appeals to a slightly, maybe more mature audience. And then I went and took a look at Facebook, which is probably for an even mature audience, like a lot of somebody's parents or even grandparents, right? 

So I guess, I came to a conclusion that depending on the demographic that you want to reach, and depending on the product, or the service that you want to sell a different video serves a different purpose. 

And to get to your point about LinkedIn. Obviously, this is like the ultimate weapon in the business space when you want to form relationships. And I was fortunate enough to get to know you on LinkedIn. So thank you LinkedIn!

Maayan: Mike, maybe you could tell me and the audience listening, what are the actual steps in starting an online store and being ready to monetize through it? 

Mike: I think the first step to starting an online store is just coming up with an answer, what kind of problem you're solving for yourself, because only then you're going to be relatable and authentic. And does that resonate with your audience? I think it also comes back to your question, did I structure my content correctly to represent what? What problems I'm trying to solve for myself? And is my audience actually interested in all that.

Then there is a technical part of just configuring the product catalog and merchandising the store. But that's just the consequence of all of these choices that you had to make in the beginning. 

Maayan: So that sounds maybe a little bit complicated. Is this something that takes a ton of time and effort? And it sounds like what you're saying is it's a two part phase. So the first part is figuring out like, what your brand is even about? What is it centered around? Because that'll help inform you, like, what's going to be in your store and what you're promoting and what you're selling. And then the second part is actually configuring the store and getting those products added to it. Is one, do you think one part is harder than the other? Are these things that take like, years, months, weeks, days. What's the timeframe for most people, and obviously, there's going to be variance is gonna take people different amounts of time, but is there like an average amount of time that you think it takes for someone starting out to figure out these two stages? 

Mike: Yeah, I think every creator knows the method that you've mentioned and that Mr. Beast is talking about it all the time. Let's try something, see what works, and learn from it and just repeat and try again. And this works for both content creation and business and ecommerce. 

So just assume that something will work. You pick some products you tested with your audience, and with your own story, supporting that product recommendation, see if it works. 

Then you add some products in adjacent categories, see if that works, if it resonates, and you mentioned that maybe 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your products. So you just need to learn what sells and what is not discouraging for your audience because we want to keep your audience, we don't want to scare them away. Not only that, we want to grow your audience. So what is basically really appealing and really sexy for your followers, what could let you actually attract new ones.

Maayan: I love that and I want to highlight something you said because I think It's actually really important for people listening to this to hear is assume that it's going to work. That is so profound, because I think one of the things many, if not most content people struggle with, but especially content creators and influencers, is this imposter syndrome, right? 

It's like a phrase that we hear kind of all across the internet. But I would say another way to describe impostor syndrome is the assumption something isn't going to work. So instead of being in that mindset of even questioning will this product work? Will anyone like it? 

It's much more strategic and effective to say, yeah, if I like it, other people are going to like it, assume it's going to work and then set up your content to test and, you know, set up everything to test if that assumption is true. 

Science is not having your assumptions be right. It's having confident assumptions and then testing them. And oftentimes, they're wrong. But the goal is to find, when is my assumption of being correct, right? Because that's when you have kind of the winning formula. 

And if you're starting out in creating content with, you know, the question or assumption that people don't like something, I think it's much harder to see if they really do because you're kind of testing to prove a negative instead of testing to prove a positive. 

So I just wanted to highlight that because I think the answer, basically, that I heard is start right away, it takes zero amount of time to pick something that is aligned, like not picking something randomly, but pick something that you believe in, that you think other people are going to get value from, because you're getting value from it. And then try it out and see if it works. If it does great, build upon it. If it doesn't break, take some lessons or takeaways and build upon that as well. 

Mike: Yeah, what I love seeing in creator businesses and creators content in general, is passion and energy. And I think whenever you're talking about something that you really love doing, for example, in your case, it would be let's say your dogs, right? You love your dogs, you could talk about them all day long. And that is what people want to see. That is why people would love to listen to you about having a French Bulldog and taking care of one, right? 

So I guess I would start with that. And whatever you decide to talk about, and whatever you decide to say about having a French Bulldog, whether it's food or toys, or apparel, or grooming, I think people will listen to you because that's what you love. That's what you know a lot about, that's what you actually are good that you know. So when I, for example, listen to Jeff talking about movies, when I see Caleb talking about breaking into tech, they all are passionate about the topic. And it's a pleasure, just experiencing that passion. Whatever product they talk about within their space, I think is going to work out just fine.

Maayan: I love that. And I really want people listening to this show to come away with very actionable takeaway item for each episode. And I think you'll find it out right there. Whether you're just starting out as a content creator trying to figure out what an ecommerce store would look like for you. Or you're a seasoned content creator, maybe you already have a store started, but you're looking on how to improve that or optimize it with Vendo, of course. 

But the kind of action item I'd love for you guys to do after you're finished listening to this episode is to write down a list of the five things you're the most passionate about talking about, right? If you're passionate about it, you're gonna make great content around it. And you're going to make the kind of content that people connect with, even if they're not interested in what it is you're talking about.

And I get feedback on this. I do a lot of public speaking and just speaking at different conferences and events in different organizations. And that is I would say really consistent feedback that I get is people saying not always that they really loved what I was talking about but they loved the way in which I was talking to about it they loved that I was so passionate about speaking about mental health they loved that I was so I'm you know excited to share my journey of entrepreneurship with them. And you guys can do that with products you can share your enthusiasm around the product itself. You can also share your passion around the journey you went through discovering the product, getting it in the mail using it for the first time and then the value it kind of brought to you so make a list you guys after this episode of the five things you're the most passionate about talking about in the to figure out how to create some content around those things, and I think that'll be huge and helping you figure out, you know, what you want your brand to be about what kind of products you're going to be able to have on your store, in just making content creation a little bit easier, because it's much easier to talk about things we're passionate about, than to talk about things that, you know, we're, we're not as motivated or passionate about.

Mike: Yeah, I think every creator that makes branded content knows that very well from experience.

Maayan: So I hope by now people are pretty interested in creating an online store. My next question is, how much money can you actually make with an online dropshipping store through Vendo? 

Mike: Yeah, I think the short answer is, if you are familiar with affiliate links, you can probably make something from three to five to 6%, maybe in some product categories, even 10%. With your own eCommerce store, you could probably make anywhere between 20% to 30%. And in some cases, even more than 30% in sales commission. And that, I think, is a really great opportunity, especially if you are interested in having that relationship with your customer. And basically maintaining it, instead of endorsing other brands, instead of endorsing Amazon and sending people off somewhere, to spend more money and keep on buying from some other brands. I mean, why not endorse your own brand? And make twice or five times as much as much as an affiliate link? 

Maayan: So that all sounds phenomenal, if someone's interested, like myself in moving forward with this, but I'm curious, how much time am I going to have to put into getting my store up and running and making it successful? What's the answer to that? How much time does this require? 

Mike: Yeah. So on one hand, you will have to create some content around those products and storytelling. And on the other hand, of course, you need to set up the store itself and curate the product catalog and make it presentable, maybe put some copy into the product description that really makes it personal and makes it on the brand with your personal brand. So that first part, it really depends on whether you are already talking about your dogs in your videos. And if it resonates with your audience, if you're already making videos, or content around hiking, glassblowing, and some other things that you will be also selling products for, if you're already doing this, it won't be such a big effort, because you are already doing this. 

And on the other hand, when it comes to this more technical part, where if you like the products that you will be selling, if you like them yourself, it won't be boring, it won't be, you know, it won't be so hard for you to actually pick those products. Because, well, that's something that you really like. 

Maayan: I think that's a really great point, you know, I've been going through the process to set up my store on Vendo. And product selection was, I think, probably the part that took me the longest, but was the most fun, because you're really getting to, you know, look at these different products that you're passionate about. And that I get to now offer to other people a custom curated store around all the things that I really enjoy the most. So I think you know, is that technically work? Yes. Because you're putting time into it. But did it feel like work? No, it felt like a whole lot of fun. 

Mike: Maayan, you've been living in the spotlight, you've been a creator for a long time now, and I'm sure there are ups and downs. But I'm very curious about what keeps you going.

Maayan: For me, I think the biggest challenge and struggle in content creation and building a business, in anything that requires sustained long term effort is there are just certain points in time where you lose motivation. You don't feel like creating any content. You're not passionate about the thing you're almost always passionate about, right?

We as human beings have these wonderful highs and these terrifying debilitating lows as well. So I think the biggest challenge is how do you deal with the periods of time when you don't feel motivated when you're not naturally enthusiastic about the things that you normally are? 

For me, it's been finding some things that hold true no matter whether I'm at my highs or my lows. There's certain things about myself that I can rely on. For me one of those things is curiosity.

My curiosity never dies, it doesn't matter if I feel really depressed or unmotivated. In all the other areas, some of my curiosity is still alive and something can kind of pique my interest. And then I'll go down some rabbit hole about black holes, and the James Webb telescope in space is all of a sudden, just by following my curiosity, I tap into that source of motivation that I can then apply to other areas. So for me, I know through practice and self awareness and experience, if I'm feeling like no motivation, I just need to like, follow a curiosity. And it doesn't have to lead anywhere productive in terms of what I'm trying to accomplish. Because what it's doing as being productive is it's helping me to find and tap into my existing internal sources of motivation. 

For other people, it might be something like connecting with a friend, right? That no matter how unmotivated they feel about work, after they have coffee with a particular friend, they all of a sudden are tapped back into this source of motivation. And so I think, you know, the way that I've overcome that challenge in the way I suggest other creators deal with the struggle that we all face around constantly staying motivated, because you can't keep it level forever, you will dip in motivation, guaranteed. This is a fact of life is how do you get yourself back into the motivated space in a quick and healthy way. So you know, not turning to bad habits to deal with that. And instead, figure out what allows me to catalyze motivation. So for me, it is for sure curiosity. And I can activate that curiosity. Sometimes through reading a book. Sometimes it's through just going into Google and asking random questions about the universe. Sometimes it is going to social media, but with the intention of letting my curiosity get hooked around some topic or some, you know, theme. So I just encourage everyone, find whatever your catalysts for your motivation are in those who are going to come in such handy through these periods where you feel like you're struggling. 

And then the last thing I would say around that is just know that if you keep doing it, you will find success. I know there's a lot of messaging out there that, you know, if you really don't enjoy doing something for a short period of time, you should quit and find something else, to follow your passion. 

Unfortunately, there is no permanent source of passion for any of us. So I think just being really honest with yourself about the things you know, that you really value and enjoy and are passionate about. But giving yourself grace that sometimes human beings fall into ruts and are not going to feel motivation at certain points, and then finding some type of catalyst to help move you from demotivated back into that motivated realm. That's literally all you need to be successful at. That and continual education and just learning new things and applying those new things. 

Mike: Yep. So find something you are really excited about. Stay curious, talk to your friends, talk to your community, talk to your peers, to lift you up out of this hole. And I guess, mental health and burnout are topics that we are going to be talking about are super important. 

Maayan: And to your point to tie this kind of back into a nice loop. Sometimes those things that get you out of the rut are products. Maybe for me, it's that process and ritual of making coffee with the right kind of coffee maker that I really enjoy. Maybe it's taking a bath a bath bomb, and that makes you feel much better. So I think you can tie in your own journey into the products that you're selling in a really nice way. And it's cool to kind of figure that out. So it's part of why I'm really excited about it. 

Mike: Maayan, thank you so much for spending this time with me. It's been really fun talking with you, as always. A pleasure. And I'm also looking forward to us talking to other people whom we will be inviting to this show because I think everybody has a different take.

We'll be talking to creators with fascinating life journeys. I love to listen to their stories. We'll be talking to monetization experts. We'll be talking about how social media and the creator economy evolves. 

We'll be talking about how to create satisfactory financial outcomes because I strongly believe that money makes money. If you start with very little, you will make more next month and next quarter. And this will also be the topic of our discussions. Perhaps money doesn't buy happiness. But you know, it pays for the search and pays for the journey. 

So thanks again. And thank you all for watching. Please do remember to subscribe if you want to stay in the loop. We'll see you later. 

Maayan: Thanks so much for having me, Mike. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

Mike Faber

Mike is a co-founder of Vendo in charge of marketing, sales and customer success. Helping customers run marketplaces for 10+ years.

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