Why you should CHANGE your mind
I've just been thinking a lot recently about my life.
Do you ever do that? Do you ever just get into those super kind of reflective moods where you just look back at your life and I'm a big nerd when it comes to looking at things, like quantum lives and theories on parallel universes and coincidence vs fate. And sometimes I can't help but go down a bit of a rabbit hole and look back at my life and all of the key pivotal moments and the people that affected it and the decisions that I made that led me to where I am.
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And when I look at these moments in my life that have led me here, I can pretty obviously see a pattern. A pattern that happens every three or four years. I have a massive change of heart about things. Something in my gut tells me that what I'm doing is not quite aligned with what I should be doing. I can't really explain it. You know what I mean? Like, I know that people talk about this idea of like purpose and finding your purpose or finding your why? And I don't know to what extent I believe in that. I think that your purpose and your life changes a lot throughout and at different stages in your life, different things are important to you.
But every stage in my life where I've gotten to the height of a certain career, I've realised that this doesn't feel right anymore. And I feel like I need to make a change. So if I take you back and not a lot of people know this, but I was actually a World Champion at Martial Arts when I was younger. By the time I was 16, I was a second degree black belt in Korean karate and kickboxing. I had three world titles and I was very much sat on a path to finishing my GCSEs at 16 years old and then go straight into being a full time martial artist. I was already an instructor at my Martial Arts Academy. I was already a captain of a team that would compete at national and international levels. I was part of Team GB for it.
It's not like the Olympics, but it's like the World Series for that very specific kind of martial art that I did.
I was dead set on that career. I thought that that was my life, I thought that I'd found my purpose. And I was already very accomplished by the time I was 15/16. And I really thought that that was that I was going to commit to. And then something kind of happened at 16 and I remember having conversations with my parents and also just around this time I started to discover editing. So my parents bought me Final Cut Pro bought me lessons at the local Apple Store to learn how to edit because I've gotten really interested in music videos. My dad filmed some of the karate performances and fights and edit them on iMovie, and I thought - I want to do that. And so I started getting interested in editing and media and that kind of thing. I started really excelling at that at school and getting full marks for some of my practical media things. And I realised that actually, maybe I didn't want to commit to this life of just doing martial arts forever. Maybe I wanted to do other things as well. So I started I changed my mind.
I changed my mind and I decided to go down the path of editing and I stayed on to do my A Levels.
Which for the non UK listeners is the equivalent of a senior in high school in America. I really leaned into that passion and I made projects with my friends, my brother. Me and my younger brother used to make little parody videos on YouTube when YouTube first became a thing and I've got emails from YouTube from 2005, when our video was something like the 130th top ranked video of the week. Can you imagine if we'd stuck with that? Ha!
When I turned 18 I stepped away from martial arts altogether and actually looking back, it was probably a bit extreme. I probably could have just carried on in a different city. But this was because I decided I wanted to pursue this career in television and making films and music videos. And so I went to university to study that which in hindsight was a terrible idea. Anyone listening - I don't want to be the one to shit all over university for you but you don't need a media degree to be in the media. But that's for another episode.
So I go to university and basically sack off my martial arts career. And I go all in on building a career for myself in the media industry. Long story short - I get my first television job while I'm still at university. It's with ITV studios in London. Oh, in fact, I kind of do a work experience with sky movies first, but then the first job I get is this little contract at ITV studios. Very exciting, super pumped and proud and I remember graduating and moving straight into the TV industry. Just getting stuck in. I managed to land my first bit of commission by Channel Four about this random dude that I met at this classic car show who was like an absolute treasure. Like he was just the most bonkers character you've ever met. And I thought - this guy needs TV show. So we ended up pitching it to Channel Four and landed them my commission and it was all very exciting. I was like - oh my god, this is perfect. I found what I love to do! I'm all in on this! I feel like I've talked about this in previous episodes, but I moved to London and I start making my way up in the TV industry. And around probably four or five years in and I start to get that feeling again of - is this it? I'm working with people that I don't particularly like, and I'm having quite a horrible experience of living in London andnd I'm just like, God, wow, this is not at all what I thought it would be like to work in the TV industry. And it started off so good but now it doesn't feel so good. But I'm committed to it now. And I'm kind of getting all of this, like, this validation from my family and friends who think it's really cool that I'm a producer in this world and nd I'm working on these projects. And I get to, you know, go to all of these fancy events and fly around the world doing this thing. And I'm like, - oh, but it just doesn't, it doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel comfortable. And I just feel like something's wrong. And I know that I need to make a change. So again, at 25 I basically pack up overnight, pack up my stuff and move out of London. I quit my job at this TV station and I leave the TV industry.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do so I'm just going to travel for a bit. So I go and travel and have a weird quarterlife crisis phase where I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with my life. I've already had these these two careers and neither of them have really felt quite right. By the time I'd gotten into the swing of things - maybe I'm just a quitter? Maybe I'm just one of those people that just does stuff until I'm good at it. And then I just get bored of it and move away. What's wrong with me?
The world is telling me I should have it all figured out but I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.
And especially when you know, you see your friends who are same age and stuff, and they're doing great and they seem to just be on the same path, and they've had the same job since they graduated, and they seem fine. And why it that is no one talking about the fact that secretly this is actually really hard? I felt totally shit about myself.
So I moved to Canada because that's what you do when you feel shit about yourself. It's there that I really gave myself some time to think about what I wanted to do. I didn't really know but I just started writing. I thought about the fact that the thing that I really loved about doing martial arts was the fact that a lot of the TV shows when I was a kid, were around martial arts. So whether that was Power Rangers or Dragonball Z, or Xena The Warrior Princess all of these shows that had a huge impact on me that just happen to revolve around these warrior characters, these martial artists and thinking how funny it was that kind of ties back to that time in my life and then thinking about why did I enjoy making films? Why did I enjoy making little projects? Why did I want to learn to edit when I was like 16 and all of my friends were like, just busy going out, with fake IDs to go clubbing like why? Why? What led me there? What was the passion behind that? And I realised that I liked making my own things. I didn't necessarily like being a little cog in a big machine. I liked being the cog, the cog that kind of just twirled around by itself a little bit. So I started writing and the first ever script I ever wrote, was Keyed Alike and that set off a massive chain of events.
But when I first experienced VR back in 2016, I was like - holy crap, I don't know what I'm doing and I don't know where I want to go, but I know that this seems like something that I really am quite interested in. The thing that appealed to me about VR was this idea that you could just do everything yourself. In fact, you had to because you had to kind of know how everything could fit together, plus no one really was doing it. So it wasn't even an option to try and be a part of someone else's team.
But I liked that I was making my own projects again. And I was having to challenge myself and learn something totally new. And then I started connecting with the community and seeing what an amazing thing it was to be a part of. I remember thinking - I'm so into this. And as you know, the rest is history.
But even in the last, I would say in the last kind of year, I've had those feelings again, and I've been very open about talking about this with people in the industry. I've talked about this online but I can feel it bubbling again, I mean I love this industry but there's so much more that I want to do. There's so much more that I want to be.
I feel like it was when I started working with Ben Claremont (who if you don't know, I'm sure a lot of you listening will already know who that is but and he is a 360 influencer with a phenomenal YouTube channel with everything you basically need to know about everything 360) that I realised something.
We were doing all sorts of little projects and seeing the behind the scenes of how that world works, but he said to me - you need to just start like putting your best advice out for free. Especially on the business side, that's your superpower. Like - why wouldn't you share that? Why wouldn't you want to talk about that and that was a breakthrough for me.
I feel really passionate about that, so I started putting out stuff online, whether it was doing videos with him, or whether it was starting to talk a little bit more online, putting out a little bit more, and obviously, there was peaks because I was still running a company but that's where this all started. I've came to find in recent years that working on my own project doesn't give me as much satisfaction and fulfilment as when I put out a small little clip on Instagram about going after a 360 client and how you can make some money and how when I get four emails back saying this changed my life. That's amazing. I'm actually having impact. Talking to you guys giving away my best advice for free, just putting it all out there makes me so happy.
And of course there will probably be times in future - many times - where I change my mind again, or I lean into something new. But what I've learned throughout this journey so far, is that admitting that you were wrong or not even admitting that you're wrong, but giving something a go and then being okay with the fact that you might change your mind. It's a real superpower. I can pinpoint those most pivotal moments throughout my career. The moment where I realised this isn't right or I thought I wanted this or it doesn't feel right anymore. Those moments where I've changed my mind and I've never looked back. And that's the truth.
Can you imagine what my life would have been like if I had quit school at 16 and gone all in on a career in martial arts. I mean, I can't even contemplate who that person would be. So many of the things that have defined me since 16 have been the people that I've met along the way on this journey, who have shaped my whole way of thinking, who have exposed me to new things, new interests, new thoughts, new ways of life. And if I hadn't had some of the more horrible experiences, some of the more like, soul crushing identity crisis, what am I doing like moments that I wouldn't have like travelled the world
which in turn would have meant that I wouldn't have written that script.
Keyed Alike is about that identity crisis that you have when big pivotal, things happen and that wrestling between holding on to the old you and the new you. I really love to write a script that works on
loads of different layers; so you could read it on the surface level as just an interaction between two women having a conversation about love but you could go a bit deeper, and maybe look at the fact that what they're exploring there is these different ways in which it's appropriate to deal with a breakup. Do you hold on to that memory? Do you keep that person in your life or should you cut them out and forget
those memories and try and erase that? Then as you start to get deeper and deeper, the actual context of that piece is about those two pulling sides of yourself about everything in life, where one is desperate to try and move on from anything in life and the other piece wants to hold on to it. And it's a balance between, you know, don't just run off and arrays because actually, so much of that experience has shaped who you are. So much of that experience has contributed to where you are, but also don't romanticise the past and don't be stuck there, just because it hurts to move on and it hurts to change your mind. And that's what I want to leave you with in this episode today. The actionable advice is don't be scared to change your mind.
If you're going through a time in your life where ther is something bubbling or there's something going on in your personal life where you know that it's time to move on, or you know that something's not right, or you know that you need to make a change, all I want to leave you with is that changing your mind is a superpower.
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