Do You Need to Master Your Skill to Be Good?
AKA How I became a video editor
Video editing is fun.
As a skill, it has a high barrier of entry, because the tools can be very complex. That’s why I’ve always been attracted to it as a hobby — it was hard but rewarding.
A handful of times through my school and college life, I put together simple videos, in an attempt to learn this creative skill.
But until last year, I was frustrated at my lack of practice. I only made a handful of edited videos. The rest were no-cut or low-complexity projects on my Instagram.
So in January 2020, I changed that.
I have a friend named Vinita, and I admire her moxie. Vinita has a fledgling personal brand called Uncle Rupee (YouTube) where she explains finance and investment concepts.
But here’s the twist — Vinita does not own a personal laptop. She creates all her content, including videos, on her phone, however limited it is.
I was so inspired by Vinita that in January last year, I offered to be her video editor for free. If I wasn’t going to make my own videos, then I could make hers. Through the course of the year, we produced 12 videos together.
My skill improved rapidly.
There are miles to go and I have much to learn. But I’m so much further than I was just a year prior, only because I found a way to practice my hobby.
And my hobby led to another opportunity.
Late last year, my workplace, Zendrive, was creating 4 new teams.
I got a message from our company co-founder, who had seen my writing work, alongside the occasional video or graphic. He pinged me on Slack — “Vaibhav, I have a need for your creativity and presentation skills.”
He wanted me to coordinate with 20+ people in these 4 new teams, and make 4 videos introducing them to the rest of the company. I would need to conceptualize a concept for each video, help script and shoot, and then edit myself.
What is the value of this? As a global company, Zendrive is divided across many geographies and many teams. Understanding this new team structure helps maintain our cross-functional relationships.
My hobby suddenly had real business value.
It took me 2 stressful weeks, but we did it. I got a lot of appreciation for this project.
I didn’t need to be a master with 10,000 hours of practice to identify with my hobby. I needed to have only 50–100 hours of practice to be good enough.
Am I a good video editor? Not yet. But did I provide value to both Vinita and Zendrive? Absolutely.
This is a bite-sized essay. See the next one.