When we started vlogging about 8 months ago we had no idea just how much resistance we’d get. Mostly from people who are projecting their own insecurities and feelings on the matter:
You’re too old.
Are you sure that you want this kind of negativity?
This is unprofessional, you’re going to kill your business.
You’re too fat.
You’re too ugly.
Who cares about what you have to say?
Your editing is *EXPLETIVE*
You won’t sustain this.
You won’t succeed.
You’ll give up.
You Can’t Do This.
We’ve heard it all. Really kind of surprising just how much negativity we were getting.
We’re not asking you to vlog or be in our vlog, so does it matter what Stef and I are up to? Nope.
We do the vlog to document our journey with each other. Between a rash of major health scares, dramatic changes in our lives and multi-million dollar plugin companies trying to compete with our business and shut us down, we travel to renew and refresh the soul and we vlog about it so we can remember.
It looks like we’re judging you but this is a wine tasting. I promise.
Back to You Can’t Do This.
Of course you can. And you should. It might not be obvious but the only thing stopping you is you. There will be people who try to convince you this is a bad idea. It didn’t matter if every person on the planet hated our vlog. Doing it was crucial and cathartic for Stefanie. It was important for her to give all that up and put it out into the universe so it was no longer a burden on her. Believe it or not, many of the comments above were from family members and friends. It’s OK, I don’t harbor any ill will against them as I’ve spent the last almost year of my life trying to figure out why people will work so hard to pull you down when lifting each other up is so much easier to do. These are the same people who tried to convince us that our company was a bad idea and that we should go back to our day jobs. Eight years later our company is still going strong. Stefanie and I are fueled by the phrase you can’t do this. We used to grimace or even get angry when people would shut us down like that. Now we just look at each other and smile.
Stefanie shooting a vlog with her GH5 and Snapchat. Tell her she can’t shoot something and she’ll deliver you a 4TB drive full of options along with a sticky note full of ‘pirate speak’.
For a while the negativity got to me. I struggle with serious anxiety and that can sometimes lead to a really bad depression. The terrible online messages don’t even compare to the soul crushing hate of the private messages, DMs and emails. I’m not built to dispense / receive hate like this so for the longest time it was eating away at my well being.
We’ve always traveled, the hate didn’t originate with our journeys. Stefanie and I started a vlog because for 11 years we were desperate to start a family and couldn’t. No matter what. After we started that vlog we were hit with the “Daily vlogs are impossible, you’ll never do it, you won’t make it a week” etc. We shot and produced over 150 daily vlogs and never missed a day. So when it was obvious that a week came and went, then a month, the hate didn’t stop. It changed to relating to the subject matter. Here comes the flood of terrible things about Stef, the nasty, evil, misogyny, the worst of the worst. Doing whatever they can to tear us down.
Nothing stops Stef. She doesn’t care what people say, she’s all about living life. She makes me a better person every day. I truly admire her.
Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real. Know This.
This hatred isn’t coming from a constructive place. Remember, successful people don’t have time to troll on the internet. The people dispensing hate are in a vortex of their own. Misery loves company. Perhaps the more alone you feel the better off you could be. They say it’s lonely at the top for a reason. I don’t mean this literally, I don’t want anyone to feel alone. My point is people will grab you, squash your light and bring you down to their level. Don’t allow someone else to alter your course. Their fear is just that. They are telling you that they can’t do this. The haters are essentially asking for your permission to fail. To not even bother. To sit. They want you to commiserate with them. Don’t.
The Random Kindness of Strangers.
On day four of our Valentines trip on the Norwegian Epic, we were dining at the Margaritaville restaurant at the port in Falmouth, Jamaica. Out of nowhere we noticed a couple kind of hanging out behind us. We thought they might be waiting for someone and we didn’t think much of it. Before you know it the couple is beside our table and they say “Are you that IRL girl and guy?” Haha. Yep. That’s us. They recognized Stef, she was wearing her now famous bun ears that you see below:
So here is this couple who we’ve never met and we don’t know what to do or say. We’re just ready for a confrontation. Maybe a plea to delete our channel? Or perhaps I should “jump up my own ass and die.” (Real comments, yo)
I was wrong. The couple introduced themselves and told us they’ve watched every episode of our vlog, even the non travel ones and they “just wanted to tell you we love you, we’re pulling for you and we love your vlog. Please keep it going. We’ve watched every episode. We knew it had to be you two. We watched all of your NCL Epic videos before booking the trip. We love you guys.”
Wow. We were in shock. Had no idea what to say. We shook their hands, thanked them and kind of sat in a stupor for a minute. Did we just meet some fans? Were we just recognized? Was that a positive comment that we just heard? Thank you to that couple, you made our day. Before we could fully understand what happened, a gentleman walks to our table and introduces himself. Telling us he knew it had to be Stefanie and that he’s seen every episode. We were just sitting there in awe that this happened again. So much kindness. Thank you sir!
About 30 minutes later, we’re waiting on our check we were snapping and having fun and another couple approaches us. This time it’s a woman who walks directly to Stefanie and tells her that she is an inspiration. That Stef was brave for sharing her story. She even had comments to share on multiple episodes of our vlog. Wow.
What’s My Long Winded Point? Keep Moving Forward.
The majority of people who watch your show may never say a word. They might lurk or watch from a distance. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t a fan. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love and support you. The positivity may come less frequently than the negativity. That’s OK. Know there are people out there who like you for you and want to see more of what you do, even if they don’t tell you. Do your vlog for you. Don’t let the negativity get to you. Enjoy life and vlog the hell out of it. That way when you’re old and grey you can play back your life on your holographic projector and think “Wow. We really did some ish, yo.”
Can’t Can Do This.
Of course you can do this. Anyone who wants to absolutely can. We believe in you.
I adore this amazing woman and her desire to do whatever she wants despite the words and acts of others. She is the light in my life. I’m honored to be a part of her journey and vlog.
Let em hate, we’ve got coconuts.
Sean Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, VFX Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CEO & Lead Designer of Rampant Design, Inc. He is a 3 Time Emmy Award Winner and former Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot. Sean is married to the AMAZING Stef IRL. See Sean’s Portfolio here: http://seanmullen.media