Navigating Your Journey As An Online Creator with Rowena Tsai

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What are the best ways to niche down as a creator?

Or balance making content you love vs. what your audience wants?

How about the best ways to navigate uncertainty?

Rowena Tsai started her YouTube journey in 2016, creating content on personal development and productivity, and has over 700,000 subscribers on the platform to date.

In this episode of Creators of Air, we talked about many of the common problems creators face, including niching down, balancing passion and monetisation, burnout, and facing uncertainty.

Follow Rowena:

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📽️ YouTube

Episode Transcript

Akta [00:00:00]: No matter how big your audience is, we all face challenges on our creator.

Rowena Tsai [00:00:04]:Just to be true to yourself, do what you're comfortable with, and to continually and constantly check in with yourself with, like, what makes you happy and like, if this is comfortable and if you want to keep going.

Akta [00:00:15]: Rowena Tsai has been on YouTube since 2016 and has over 700,000 subscribers and plenty of viral videos. But she's still navigating what it means to be a creator. In this episode of Creators on Air, we talked about many of the common problems that creators face, including niching down, balancing passion with monetization, burnout, and dealing with uncertainty.

Rowena Tsai [00:00:38]: The journey's been a journey, an absolute journey of the highs of highs, the lowest of lows. Because I think, as you said, because it's something so personal, when you create from your heart, the end goal is not to get people to like it or to get it to go viral. But then there is some sort of ties there where when you create something, you do want it to reach more people, you do want it to be watched.

And when you do get a taste of people liking your stuff and watching your stuff, and all of a sudden it's like a ten out of ten in the YouTube studio. I'm sure many creators you've talked to have talked about this, too. It definitely hit a lot harder. I would say, like a few years ago, now that I've been doing it. Oh my God, 2016.

Like, I don't know how many years, almost seven, eight years. I think I'm getting to a point where I'm telling myself constantly and reminding myself that to create something that you're proud of and to create something that you feel can help people, period. Just like even one person, the depth of that connection and the ability, how deeply you're able to help someone that can be more meaningful than getting 100k plus views or getting a million views.

Akta [00:02:02]: Yeah.

Rowena Tsai [00:02:03]: So just kind of calibrating my own expectations of, it's okay if one video, if every month you create two videos that quote, unquote, do well and can go viral and you create two videos for yourself, or two videos from your heart that may be a bit more niche or that may help or might not go as viral, but you can help people deeply.

Akta [00:02:26]: I love that it seems like you've evolved as a creator in terms of your mindset. So what does that look like in terms of your content? How has what you create changed with that mindset?

Rowena Tsai [00:02:39]: I think this change is very recent because I think, especially with my channel started in 2016. It didn't really catch on until a year and a half into it. And then when it did take off, I think I caught the self care wellness era on YouTube. I really think YouTube content creation, there's so many factors that play into if a person will become, quote unquote successful or if a channel will grow.

And I feel like I got really lucky because I caught the very beginning of the self care routine era, the 06:00 a.m. Morning routine era, like the productivity girly era. And I think I just talked about it in a way that was a bit different. But now I personally feel like I've talked about it endlessly. I feel like everyone else is talking about it in similar ways. So I started with self care, gentle productivity, and I feel like during the pandemic, because there was so much happening, there's nothing happening, but also so much happening at the same time.

I focused more on. I was like, I just want to keep my views up. I don't know why I was in that headspace. Maybe because so much was going on that I was like, I just want to focus on this one thing. And it just so happened to be views. I kind of went from a broader relationship based creator that talks about dating, that talks about matcha lattes and how to make superfood lates and how to journal to be more of a productivity.

Rowena Tsai [00:04:18]: Like, this is how you get your life together. Here are systems you can implement. Here are my favorite productivity tools, which I think did well. But then after doing that for another two years, I'm like, okay, I'm so much more than just productivity, and I don't want to be this productive and just this type of creator for the rest of my life. So I think where I'm currently at now, only am I allowing myself to ask myself questions of, like, what do you want to create? If the end result of the views don't matter as much? What story do you want to tell? How do you want to help people?

And I think it's through asking myself these questions. I'm exploring topics like fame. That was a solid ten out of ten. And before I would have freaked out, I would have changed the title a thousand times. I still change it like five times. But I think I know myself and I know the algorithm well enough that if I come back in a month or two and change the title and the thumbnail, there's still a potential for the video to do well. So it's not like an end all be all it needs to do well, right? Away. So it's giving myself grace and patience.

And I guess also the video of don't stress so much when you hit publish, just let it write out. See how it's affecting people, see how people, the audience is reacting to it. And when you're ready, you can come back and change the things you want and maybe have it reach more people. But don't focus on the end result. So much of the views and it needs to get the views because you're just going to drive yourself crazy. I drove myself crazy.

Akta [00:05:56]: I agree with you. But it's such a hard thing to do and I feel like the scale at which you'd probably deal with this is probably crazy because you've had videos hit like millions and millions of views, which not many YouTubers can say. So when you do get those ten out of ten, that's quite hard to deal with. How do you mentally deal with that?

Rowena Tsai [00:06:18]: How do I mentally deal with that? I think having a good support system around you, even if it's just one person in your corner being like, this is why you created this video, you're helping at least one person look at this comment. They're saying all these sweet things and how you changed their life. Just having one for me, that thankfully and very luckily is my partner.

So just having one person remind you, I think can help you from spiraling because it's very easy to spiral. It's very easy to get caught up in your head and be like, these are actual thoughts and words that I say to myself. I'm like, okay, this is it. This is the end of your YouTube career. You're becoming irrelevant. It's fine. Every creator has a life cycle.

Rowena Tsai [00:07:04]: But then when my partner talks to me, when I actually sit down and think about this more calmly, I'm like, but it's not. It's just one video. And you can change and you can grow and you can continue to pivot as you see fit. And I think that's kind of, I feel like the best mentality to have. It's like as your channel grows, hopefully you're also growing as a person and hopefully you're also growing as a creator. So that it's normal for you to go through these cycles of highs and lows and highs again and lows again as you continually discover yourself.

Akta [00:07:43]: Yeah, I love that you seem so authentic with what you create, especially because your channel does cover a lot of things like self reflection and self care and things like that. But do you ever struggle to balance. So when you're coming up with video ideas, for example, how much of it is thinking about, okay, I really want to make this, versus this is what my audience is asking for, this is what they want to see. How much are you juggling that and how do you find that balance?

Rowena Tsai [00:08:10]: I feel like one thing that's always, what I've always defaulted to is more creating from my heart and creating what I feel my younger person, my younger person creating what I feel my younger self would need. Because I feel like if I'm creating for a group of people, it becomes a lot more like I get a lot more in my head, but this person wants something and this person wants something different, and this person wants me to say it this way, and this person doesn't want me to say anything or touch on these topics. So I feel like I know there's something in the industry or like something is like, how can you grow your channels?

You need to pick one thing and just talk about that thing. And I think that's true, but I also feel like you can pick one person and talk to that one person. And I think that has helped me a lot in terms of, like, I create what I want to create, knowing that it's helping this one person who's relatable enough to the masses. So I think that also helps me. It's like I can overshare, I can be very personal. I can go places that maybe it's kind of like when you talk to a friend one on one versus when you're in a big group setting, you're probably not going to talk about what keeps up at night.

When you're hanging out with a group of ten people. Right? Like over dinner, you're having drinks or you're playing games, but when you're one on one with someone, it's a lot easier, comfortable, reassuring, to just be like, hey, wear your heart in your sleeve. This is what I'm going through. This is how I overcame it. What do you think? Do you have any questions? Do you have any ideas and suggestions or advice?

Akta [00:10:02]: Yeah, I think even with that mindset, though, it's quite hard to be so open. Online. You share everything from dating to feeling behind in life, which are quite personal topics. So even though you're thinking about your younger self, how do you maintain those boundaries online when you're sharing parts of your own personal life? Or are you trying to maintain boundaries? Or is it just share as much as you can? Where does it end?

Rowena Tsai [00:10:30]: I feel like the very interesting thing about the content that I create is. I've also realized this about myself. For as vulnerable and transparent and open as I am, I'm also very closed off. People know my mind really well, but that's kind of all they know. And I think it's kind of by design where I don't share as much about my personal life. I'll share about conversations I have with my partner. I'll share about things that come up that can help build this story and make it more just like, give more examples and make it more colorful. But I think it's kind of by design.

Earlier on, that was like, I think I need some boundaries because I am sharing so much. I will have, let's say I'm filming getting my life together video, and it's like half a day in my life I'm filming, but the rest of the week or the rest of the month, it's like, I'll try to not capture that. So to be able to have my personal life and have my friends, have my relationships, have the things that I do, have my routines, that is totally fine. I need to live my life. And then when I need to film, it's very intentional with, like, these are the only things I'm going to show and that's it.

Akta [00:11:48]: Yeah.

Rowena Tsai [00:11:48]: And I think this kind of goes back to Colin and Samir, amazing creators. They talked about how there's relationship based creators and idea based creators. And I feel like I started off as a relationship based creators, being like, oh, here are all the things, relationship, blah, blah. But I thought I was. But then they're actually all ideas because it's like, let me share about my perspective on dating. Let me share about my perspective on morning routines.

So I think from that perspective, it's also helped me kind of going back to the ten out of ten of it's okay if, as an idea based creators, when you mostly do how to's and if I post a vlog and it doesn't do well, it makes sense because people follow me for specific ideas and they want to feel a certain way. And maybe a vlog doesn't do that. So that's kind of how a long window way of saying I juggle everything.

Akta [00:12:47]: Yeah, but then you must still get some of your audience who are very invested and who want to see your partner, who want to know more about what's going on in your personal life. And how do you then balance that?

Rowena Tsai [00:13:12]: So you're kind of keeping that core audience happy where they're like, but you're still maintaining that little bit of space. Yeah. I feel like this is very tricky. And I joke with my friends and my creator friends that I'm not necessarily, like, a reluctant creator, but I'm not the best creator. There's people that I see online and people who've been on this podcast and just even friends who, they just know content, they know community. They know what to say. They know how to draw people in. They want to talk to their fans. They want to be in it all. And I feel like I'm not like that. And I think I tried. I think I tried, like, oh, create a community.

Bring people together. But it might come as a prayer. Like, I'm very introverted. I need my time. I need my space. I need to be alone. And I can be very happy living in a cave without any connection to social media. And I have this love hate relationship with social media. It's like, it's so good, but at the same time, it's so bad. And so with all of this in mind, I think when I think of how do I maintain this relationship and how do I balance, I just put myself first. I'm like, okay, what are you comfortable with and what are you willing to share and just do that?

I think to do more would be doing myself and even my audience a disservice because I would feel like I'm not being authentic to myself and by default, to them. So I think the authenticity, I guess if we want to use that word, to me, I try to string it through. If this is what I'm talking about, if this is what I'm, quote unquote, preaching, I want to also live this. And I'm the type of person that if I don't believe in something, I will never do it. And if I believe in something, I'll do it till the end. So from this perspective, it's kind of just like, just be true to yourself. Even if it means disappointing people or even if it means maybe shutting some doors, but at least this is sustainable.

Akta [00:15:18]: Yeah, no, I love that. And it reminds me of that video you made about fame, which I'm surprised it's a ten out of ten, because actually, I watched that, and it's one of my, like, it's one of those videos that I really resonated with. So I'm like, I'm surprised that you said it was a ten out of ten.

But you also mentioned that you do see a lot of youtubers who end up leaving the platform because it just becomes too much for them. So do you think there is a way to grow on the platform as a personal creator, as a relationship based Creator, but still avoid those negative effects? Or does that just come with a territory?

Rowena Tsai [00:15:54]: I think it's a little bit of think. I think it's very hard. If you want to look at, I mean, celebrities, of course. They're like, I think in another league. And you can maybe have Mr. Beast be in that category. I don't think many creators will get to that level, which is, I think, probably a better thing. But even just within my circle of friends, my circle of creator friends, the more eyeballs on you, the more susceptible you are to thinking about how others view you.

And what if one day I wake up and none of this is here and that is just anxiety, mental health, questioning everything and also, again, becoming existential. So I think the best way to do it, okay, to be very honest, I feel like I'm a pretty. I try to be very intentional with what I do. I try to be as true to myself as I can. But even for me, it's hard. It's so hard. You can start off wanting to create for a younger self, but somewhere throughout your journey, you pivot to productivity because that's what gets the views. And you realize, why am I doing this and for what am I doing this for? And you pivot back.

And I think it's easy to be distracted by shiny things. Shiny things. And before you know it, you're going places and things are already coming to you. But I think if I take a step back and really think about it, I think it's just to be true to yourself, to do what you're comfortable with, and to continually and constantly check in with yourself with what makes you happy, and if this is comfortable and if you want to keep going.

And I think there are ways to change your channel to a faceless channel. It might be a slight shock in the beginning, but I think there's ways to continue creating without completely oversharing or completely feeling like you're just spread too thin with your personal information out in the Internet.

Akta [00:18:05]: Yeah, no, I love your mindset. But what I struggle with as a creator myself is when you're monetized as a creator and this is like your career with that mindset, it almost leads to more uncertainty because you kind of don't know, like, okay, if I make this video, will I really get paid much this month? How do you balance that then? How do you balance the fact that you want this authenticity with the monetization aspect of YouTube?

Rowena Tsai [00:18:35]: It's hard, very hard. It's very hard. I think it kind of goes back to like, let's know if we post one video a week and then there's four videos a month. I think the best way that I've learned how to navigate this is if every month I can make two videos that satisfied those buckets of monetization. The video does well. It's kind of like, sure, I can share it with brands who may want to work with me, but it's also reinforcing my own data points of like, okay, these videos historically do well. They'll continue to do well. If a brand reaches out in the future and wants to work together, they may see my past five months catalog worth of content and the views are a bit more inconsistent.

But I can reassure them, hey, these three videos are the type of videos that I'm thinking of creating with you. Let's work together on maybe a higher rate than factoring or averaging out the inconsistencies. That is what I used to do. I think where I'm at now, I just give myself time. I think I need just like a whole life reset era where at most I've been posting one or two videos a month. But I think that is kind of with the. Because I've been on this platform for so long, it's not that long, but a bit longer than most people.

I have the, I guess, cushion or maybe like the privilege of taking a little bit of time and exploring and being willing to explore. But I feel like starting out the perfect situations is to create what you love, create what people love and create what brands love. That is like the ideal situation. And you can maybe maintain that for a few months, maybe a year or two, but then even now, kind of going back to like, oh, the two videos a month, that will do well.

Videos that I've known to do well do not perform at all in this current landscape. And it's not just me, it's most of my creator friends. No matter what platform you're on, I feel like we're going through a social media detox burnout question mark era where I think as creators and as consumers, everyone's getting tired of the same thing. So there's all things to factor in.

Akta [00:21:10]: Yeah, no, absolutely. I feel like even I'm feeling that as well. Let's talk about burnout, since you've mentioned it, I'm sure as a creator who's been on this platform for a while and has gone through the phases of trying to make those viral videos and now taking a step back you've experienced burnout at some point. How do you kind of overcome burnout? Deal with it or prevent it? What advice would you have for creators on that?

Rowena Tsai [00:21:35]: The first thing to say is that burnout will come no matter who you are, no matter what content you're creating. Burnout is imminent just because of how personal content creation is of you pouring your heart out, but also because it's so personal. It's all you're going to care about, and it's all you're going to want to do. And because it's all you think about, it's all you're going to want to do, and you're going to push yourself. You're going to push yourself really hard. And it's great because I think we need to push ourselves to get us to where we want to go. But there will come a point where you're like, I'm tired. This is hard.

Why am I pushing myself so hard? And I think, well, this is similar to the fame video creator. Burnout is a video that I've been, it's like, been brewing in the back of my mind for a really long time. And if you look at the biggest creator from the mystery, I mean, I don't know about Mr. Beast. I think he's just, he's not a robot, but I think he's built differently.

Akta [00:22:39]: Very differently. Yeah.

Rowena Tsai [00:22:41]: But even people like, you know, like Lily Singh, like the biggest OG creators, Ryan Higa, everyone, they all go through burnout. And even within my sphere of creators, like the softer, gentle, self help lifestyle girlies, everyone also goes through burnout. So I feel like it's something that will come and it's more about how we pick ourselves up and where we choose to pivot from this knowledge that, okay, this isn't as sustainable. And I actually feel like I may not have done the best job of handling everything because it's like, within my cohort, I guess, of creators, it's normal to get your life together because the title is a viral video title and those videos always do well. It's very common to get your life together and then reset from burnout and then get your life together again and then reset from burnout again.

And I think the way that I kind of came out of that was like, oh, let me just, like, I'm sick and tired of talking about burnout. My audience, they're like, you burnout all the time. What does that even mean? It's becoming, okay, let me just talk about productivity. But I want to share one of my friends her name is Leah. From Leah's field notes, I feel like her pivot from her experiencing burnout is probably something I wish I did, where instead of, I think creators usually do like week by week videos. You think of a video, you make it for the week, you edit it, you upload it, and then you just repeat the cycle endlessly until the end of time.

And I think that's another reason why it adds to the burnout. But Leah realized a few years ago that she's okay. Well, I don't think that's sustainable for me. What is sustainable is if I batch film a bunch of stuff, I go travel, I go to the countryside in the UK, I go sailing on a boat, and I film everything. And then I don't worry about editing until after the. Then, you know, she goes back home, or know, goes back to her home country of Canada, and then she can spend her time, taking her time editing and creating the piece of content that she wants.

So I think creatively you feel more inspired, you feel like you have more time to create what you want. And also I think that helps with quality of the content and it doing better, because I think when you're creating week to week, you're kind of capped. Because even if you want to make it perfect, look, I want to make every single video perfect, but there comes a point where you're like, I just need to export. It's okay if there's mistakes. It's okay if it's not perfect. I'm done. This is it.

Akta [00:25:27]: It's going to go up.

Rowena Tsai [00:25:28]: But I think now with new gen creators or younger creators, or even people like Colin Samir, they do talk about creator burnout and how there are other ways you can move forward in a more sustainable way where maybe it's like seasons of videos rather than week to week. So I think there's a lot of different, I guess, systems that you can create for yourself. But I feel like the most important thing is, once again, like being honest with yourself and being real with yourself and asking, what do I really want and how do I want to move forward and to be able to create space for yourself and create boundaries for yourself where if you do feel burnout, if you do want to take a month off, take a month off, nothing's going to happen.

I think this is what I realized in the depth of the pandemic. One day I was just sitting around and then I asked myself, I was like, okay, what will happen if you don't post a video this week? Nothing, absolutely nothing will happen. So I was like, okay, post a video this week for the first time in five years.

Akta [00:26:32]: And it was, yeah, no, I totally get, like, this year, I've taken, I think, maybe more than three, four months off YouTube. And I remember when I first did that, I had panic inside, like, oh, my God, this feels so abnormal. It's not my routine, but I'm four months on and I'm just like, okay, my life isn't over.

I love what you mentioned about Leah's system, the way that she approaches filming and editing, and even what you mentioned about, I know I'm going to film this video, so this is going to be the content I'm filming, and then I'm not going to film the rest of my day to day life. Are there any other systems or routines that you use as a creator that help you to not only separate your personal life and creator life, but also just to feel more organized as a creator?

Rowena Tsai [00:27:23]: Yes. This is one of my favorite questions. So my system that I've created many videos about for my personal organization, I use, like, if you think of a to do list on crack that plugs into every imaginable software, that is it. Like, it connects with notion. And notion is what I use for work. But for Sensama, I think it's just, like, very beautifully designed. It is very thoughtfully created. Like, the founders of Sensama actually wanted to create a app or a platform that helps prevent burnout and helps us engage in more meaningful and intentional work.

And I think that's something that our generation definitely needs. I think it's something that we're all shifting more towards, especially after 2020. And so that is kind of my daily brain dump to do, where it's just writing everything I need to do down. You can very easily drop each card into your calendar to calendar blog. You can give a hashtag or, like, a channel for each of these cards. So it's very color coordinated. If you're into that. I'm very into that.

So that is my daily to dos. And I do this weird thing where I kind of bounce back and forth from more like, analog writing and digital. Sometimes I'll write everything down and then move it over to digital, which I know it's like one extra step and it's unnecessary, but for me, it helps me process better to be like, okay, this is everything that I need to do, and here's my schedule. So I actually write a lot down. I have the remarkable.

And it's like a paper tablet where it writes as if you're writing on paper and it's beautiful because all your notes are in one place, I no longer have 1000 sticky notes and postit notes just like scattered around my apartment. So that's also helpful to have. Just, I think whenever I talk about systems, whenever I talk about these productivity tools, the best tool for you is one that you will use. So if you need to write, write. If you need something that's digital, do something that's digital. And then all of my work, my four different work things, from podcast to YouTube to the beauty channel, that is all in mean. Notion is just. Everyone knows that Notion is wonderful.

Akta [00:29:55]: I feel like most creators love using Notion. So how far ahead are you working? Or looking at not even just videos, but sponsorships and other forms of monetization, how far ahead do you work so that you're still kind of present and you're still authentic, but you're also like, I don't want to say ahead of yourself, but do you know what I mean?

Rowena Tsai [00:30:15]: Being organized as a creator as of right now and as of the past five months, I work day to day.

Akta [00:30:20]: Oh, really? I take life as it comes.

Rowena Tsai [00:30:23]: But I think it's just because I went through a big transition of moving across the country. I was in New York, now I'm back in southern California, moved in with my partner. So I think I prioritized that more. But now I just sat myself down two days. I'm very, very excited, and I thought about content for the first time in a very long time of like, here are the four videos I want to create in a series about resetting my life.

And it's the end of year. Here's like the end of year video that I want to make. The creator burnout video is a video that I want to make. So just like, getting back in touch with, I guess, my inner voice and what she wants to share with the world, but even then, it's still not that far ahead.

Akta [00:31:10]: Yeah. Have you ever experienced negativity, like, so negative comments or just like, hurtful things being said? Because when I go on your channel, I hear you say, hey, sweet potatoes, and things like that. I just feel like it's very positive. It's a very positive environment. But considering your audience size, I feel like you must have come across some negative comments. How have you dealt with that if you do see it? The thing is, I feel like I've been sheltered from a specific side of the Internet for the most part. I would say every video, there's maybe a quarter or like half, like very minimal. And then I've thought about this too. I'm like, why?

Because I go on other people's channels and I'm like, okay, this comment section is unhinged. I don't know how to deal with it. So I think maybe it's because of the type of content that I'm creating and I'm not out here making definite stances on, like, this is how you need to live your life and this is what it means to blah, blah, blah. So I think because of a gentler approach, if someone doesn't like it, they'll just click off. It's like they're not being offended.

Yeah, but I think sometimes, of course, over the past years, I have gotten some more negative comments, but because I think when they're so quote unquote negative or when you kind of, I see it for what it is because I'm like, okay, I understand where they may have gotten this thing from, and I can probably see they're just people who are hurting, but it's not a reflection of me. And what they're saying isn't truly who I am. But I will say something that affects me more than negative comments is when people give me feedback or they say something that's like, oh, I hear what you're saying, but. Or it's like, I've watched your channel for a long time, but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

So that my body, I just heat up and my face turns red. I'm like, I didn't even finish reading the comment. I'm like, oh my God, what are they saying? But I've gotten a lot better over time as well. Of feedback is good. I think previously, even two years ago, I don't want to hear feedback. Not from my parents, not from my partner, not from anyone. And it's not the best way to live. So now I'm like, okay, feedback is good. I know myself well enough to filter feedback, so now it's better, but it still affects me.

Akta [00:34:00]: So how did you improve your ability to take feedback on in a constructive way versus taking it personally?

Rowena Tsai [00:34:08]: I think it's just this whole unraveling of, you don't need to be perfect. Because I feel like the reason why I didn't want feedback was because I felt like I used every single fiber of my being to be perfect, to be likable. And so if someone gave me feedback or if someone said anything that kind of challenges that narrative from my mind, then I quote unquote failed or I'm not perfect, or I didn't do a good job of being quote unquote perfect.

We all know that doesn't exist. I talk about this all the time on my channel, but it's still there. But I think over time, I think I saw, okay, I care a lot about being perfect. Why do I care about being perfect? Okay, maybe it has something to do with competence. It's like, okay, why is competence and perfection something you care about? Oh, maybe it's because of.

Rowena Tsai [00:35:03]: It gives me worth. So worthiness and competence and perfectionism just kind of all ties together, and there's so many more layers. So really taking the time to understand yourself, to ask yourself the hard questions, will eventually lead you to, I think, freedom and, in a way, enlightenment, because you realize nothing matters. In a very optimistic way. Not in a depressing way.

Akta [00:35:35]: No. I love it. I love how deep that answer is. I think that's unpacking the layers for a lot of people, for sure. What would you say have been some of the more significant challenges you've faced as a creator, and how have you overcome that?

Rowena Tsai [00:35:50]: The most significant challenge I face as a creator, I think because my channel is so personal, the biggest challenge is myself, of, like, if I'm not growing, my channel will not grow. And that was a hard truth that I had to accept and I had to work through, because I think it's easy to look at a stagnant number of subscriber count and be like, oh, why hasn't it changed?

And there's a lot of external reasons, like, sure, titles, the type of content, et cetera, et cetera. But I think because everything that I do and that I've done is so personal. And for me, spirituality is, like, a huge element in it. When I'm not fully myself and when I don't feel fully connected spiritually, I feel like it shows. Even if people can't really tell, I think something's just off.

So I think my main challenge is just staying consistent in my daily life, staying disciplined in my daily life so that I can show up and be the person that I am at my best. Not all the time, just sharing that journey of the highs and the lows, but also giving myself permission that there will be highs and lows.

And that is what people want. People don't want this perfect version of you. Like, oh, I worked through everything. I'm okay now. That's, I think, what I did for the past couple of years, but now it's more of like, hey, here's this journey. And how I'm trying to get through this thing. I'm still going through it, and I'll probably continue going through it, but I want to allow you and everyone who's watching into my world of, like, this is how I'm navigating it.

Akta [00:37:36]: Yeah, no, I love how self aware you seem and how honest you are with your audience because that's probably why they're so engaged still, after all this time, because you have that authenticity. I'm going to end now with a quick fire round. So I'm going to ask you five questions and you just have to answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Starting with, what's your favorite thing about being a creator?

Rowena Tsai [00:37:57]: The ability to help people.

Akta [00:37:59]: Oh, nice. What's something that gives you the most inspiration for what you create?

Rowena Tsai [00:38:03]: Daily life. Anything in daily life.

Akta [00:38:05]: Nice.

Rowena Tsai [00:38:06]: Anything can be inspiration.

Akta [00:38:08]: What's a tool that helps you as a creator?

Rowena Tsai [00:38:11]: A tool that helps me as a creator. My laptop.

Akta [00:38:16]: Nice. I thought you were going to say Notion, actually.

Rowena Tsai [00:38:20]: Yeah, the editing and then Notion is on the laptop.

Akta [00:38:24]: Yeah, true. Very true. What's something that helps with your creator work life balance?

Rowena Tsai [00:38:29]: Creator work life balance. Having a partner who tells you to chill out and relax from time to time.

Akta [00:38:35]: Nice. That's always needed. And what's one piece of advice that you'd give to other creators?

Rowena Tsai [00:38:40]: I would say stay true to yourself and create what you want to create. And the better you can get at that and like being attuned with your inner voice, the more it will reflect externally.

Akta [00:38:55]: That's a really good answer. Love that. Thank you so much for coming on air. I feel like this has been such a good conversation. I feel like the journey as a creator can be so difficult and I feel like you've touched on so many different points that can help us all to improve our relationship with our work and our journey of creating. So thank you so much.

Rowena Tsai [00:39:16]: Of course. Thank you for having me on.

Akta [00:39:18]: You can find Rowena on YouTube and Instagram. And if you are a creator and you do sponsorships, check out Passionfroot. We help you to streamline your entire workflow. I'll see you in the next one.