Right now, there is a ton of uncertainty in the world that can make it really hard to go through your day-to-day lives, much less continue to create. Abby Rike is here to help you figure out how to live your life and continue moving forward.
In my recent podcast interview with Abby Rike, we had a really interesting discussion about how you can handle times of uncertainty.
When we recorded this, the Corona pandemic was in full effect. Events were getting canceled, schools, restaurants, and businesses were all getting shut down and people didn't know what to expect.
We wanted to talk about what you can do during times like this, when everything is uncertain, how you can keep creating and how you can keep moving forward. I wanted to share that with you today.
The video of the interview is also available on the Makin' Bacon YouTube Channel.
Jason Logsdon: Right now we're in the midst of this kind of shared narrative as a world, with the Corona virus epidemic going on, and there's a ton of uncertainty in people's lives. How do you think people can continue to function much less create when there's so much uncertainty?
Abby Rike: I mean, that's a great question. I think anybody coming out as though they are "the expert" and they know what they should be doing right now, I'm always cautious and leery of them. We're navigating unchartered territories.
I think from my own experiences, what I've learned though it is we're never going to control our circumstances. Never. Even when we think we are, we're not.
The only thing we can really do is control how we respond to it.
I think you have to give yourself some grace. If you're quarantined and you're trying to re-navigate and refigure things out, that's okay. Nobody has this figured out.
But then at some point it comes down to choosing that you can look at this as a really unique opportunity: you're at home, you have extra time, and you can get super creative in a way you may not have had time or space to really do.
Jason: Especially right now most people have their families around. If you have a spouse or children, there's a lot more going on. And I think, like you're saying, it might not be getting to "normal", but you know, can you adjust?
Can you do more kid recipes? Can you work your family into things because they're there and you might not have these opportunities otherwise, and you could also kind of keep them entertained while still getting some work done.
Abby: Sure. I think it's just going to be refiguring out your schedule and being really, really flexible.
Jason: I think one thing bloggers have trouble reconciling during uncertain times is that a lot of our recipes have intros to them with things like "every time I make this recipe, it's a bolt of sunshine in my life and makes me so happy".
And that may be 100% true. But at this time people are scared out there. Some people are suffering.
I believe many bloggers are thinking "How can I write about happy things when the world has a lot of unhappiness in it right now?"
Abby: But isn't that the case all the time? I mean, in all honesty, it's not rainbows and sunshine, and I think the more real we are with our people, the more they connect and respond, or at least the people who are really our people.
I think that coming up with ideas where this is the food I make when I need a comfort meal, I think would be a great thing to do. I think there are different angles you can explore, those different stories you have that this is where I find comfort, or this is a great way to get the kids involved. This is the best meal for encouraging help in the kitchen and things kids can do.
I think it's just putting a different outlook on it so you can make it real to the times that we are facing.
Because I'm all about being hopeful and positive, but at the same time, you've got to have a little bit of reality in there too, and acknowledgement it. This time is pretty scary and uncertain, but it doesn't mean it has to paralyze us.
Jason: I think that's a really good point of how you can kind of look at your content and structure it still in a way that's authentic to you. But instead of just being overwhelmingly positive, say something like:
"I'm nervous right now and here's what I make when I'm nervous or I'm scared. So, I did make this recipe, which always makes me happy when I make it, and maybe it'll make you happy now for the half hour you're working on it instead of worrying about what's out there."
Abby: Million percent, Million percent. Especially with the food prep, I think it's such a prime opportunity for food bloggers to really showcase those recipes with, these are the 3 ingredient or 5 ingredient recipes you have in your pantry right now.
Or how to make a mismatch of finding all the things frozen in your freezer and make them into this wonderful soup that will stretch for days. Or...obviously I'm not really, I'm not a chef and I'm not going to pretend. But in my mind, that's what I think would make a lot of sense for food bloggers.
Jason: Yeah. I think it's a really good way to look at what are people searching for now? What type of information do you have? These staples in your pantry, here's a fun, creative thing you can do with it, or here's how you can put a spin on this that will bring you a little bit of joy.
Or even, here's a hard recipe to do using general kitchen staples. Because we know right now you have time to spend 3 hours on a recipe because you don't have work and you don't have errands. So why don't you tackle something a little more challenging for you.
Abby: I think that's a brilliant idea.
Jason: And I think one thing bloggers tend to forget is we focus so much on the recipes "here's a recipe and a dish that's going to taste great", which is important. But I think we forget sometimes we're also entertainment for a lot of people. A lot of people read our recipes and don't actually make them, but we kind of take the reader on a journey and it's a nice fiction they can turn to.
And I think during times like this, it's even better to have those type of intros and recipe head notes to get people away from just the following the news and kind of get back to some things that make you feel normal.
Abby: Right. I mean, how much fun would it be to do if you've never gone live or are done videos because people are so desperate for something right now, just to be cooking in the kitchen with you.
I think the whole perfectionism thing, because I might struggle with that just a little, but during this time to really shed it and just do some things that are really just fun. It gives just a glimpse into your life.
Who cares if your kids are running around screaming in the background? Because at home they're doing the same thing.
And it just makes you more relatable. And when people can see your face and hear your voice they could care less if you're stumbling a little bit, they want to just see normal and real, and just add some fun during this pretty serious time.
Jason: One thing we talked about on a Mastermind group that I'm in with some other bloggers is to try a live cooking show, but instead of doing, "Here's how I do this" and step them through it, do a
"Hey, let's have a cooking party. Everyone get on, here's the ingredients you'll need, let's all cook this together. We'll have our kids around and it'll be a big group chat with people spread across the country".
And those are things that would be really hard to do during a normal time because everyone has different schedules, but now people are looking for that type of escape from their current situation.
Abby: A million percent! Especially with the social distancing, it can be a very isolating and lonely time. I heard one of my friends say that her girls had a virtual play date with one of their friends. This would just be like a virtual food prep time. I love the idea so much.
Jason: And I think your point too of people being so worried when you're putting out new content or videos for the first time that you have to be perfect. And right now you have the built in excuse, "Oh, this video would usually be perfect, obviously, but you know, we are quarantined, so my whole family's here."
So you get what you get and you don't have to stress about it being perfect. You can just ship it out there and get in front of people.
Abby: I think just having the pressure of needing the lighting and the photography and plating to be so perfect, and right now, no one cares. No one cares. There is so much freedom in this!
This is where I talk about thinking about opportunities, of ways to just authentically connect with your people in a way that it's pretty unprecedented.
Like you said people don't have the time, their schedules are all different, but with everybody pretty much staying at home it presents this unique opportunity to really get to know your people.
Jason: I think people hear, it's a unique time to grow your brand and if you could connect with people...people feel a little bad about that, like not wanting to take advantage. But I think it's the perfect time to help your fans. And honestly, you're providing even more of a service to these people.
They need an escape. They need something. Someone to remind them that you're not alone in this. We're all in this together.
Abby: I think if anybody's thinking in that realm of not wanting to take advantage of people, I think you're not. And like you said, there's no better time.
When people need a cure, and the cure is entertainment and fun and light and laughter and all of those things. It's the best gift you can give your audience.
If you want to read some more about this, here are a few helpful links.