It’s been a minute since my last post concerning The Story Untold ZW — my media “startup”. Considering that Untold has been around for nearly a year now — 11 months if we’re being exact- I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about something that I’ve been contending with regarding the business.
A bit of context…
Since its inception - Untold has mostly been a one man project. My siblings have chipped in and helped at different points but if we’re talking permanent staff — it’s me and me alone thus far. So not only am I the founder but I’ve also been the director/video editor of the content we make.
The complexity comes in when we look at how complex the content side of things gets:
- Video — this is the stuff you see on the YouTube. I record an interview > edit for a fortnight (usually) > Publish on YouTube
- Audio/Podcast — this is the least complex part of the content side. From the published YouTube video, I rip out the audio and publish that as a podcast. (Is it clear how much audio-only takes a back seat in the Untold hierarchy?)
- Text —this is probably the most taxing part of the content creation. From that published YouTube video, I transcribe the interview into text format. Transcribing is an incredibly slow and boring process but it has to be done. That content is turned into social media posts & will appear on sites in future. So yes it has to be done too.
- Social media — this is still a mish-mash of content and the plan here isn’t fully developed.
On the CEO/Founder side of things we’re looking at growing the business:
- Growing the Untold audience/following on YouTube/IG/other platforms
- Finding ways to monetise our content as the business grows
- Finding money to keep the business afloat as Untold isn’t revenue making just as yet…
At the start, all this wasn’t taxing — in fact it was relatively easy. On some days I would wear the CEO hat and think of new ways to make content and the monetisation of that content and then the next day, I would be behind the camera or laptop making said content. You can only run on adrenaline for so long.
I have realised over the last 11 months how complex both these roles can be and if it were not for a lack of resources this is one of the things I would try address urgently. It’s not that I feel overworked but instead it’s a constant feeling of being overwhelmed that bothers me. Always feeling like there’s something unattended.
Whilst the “multitasking” gets overwhelming like I said, it does allow for one thing — I get to fully appreciate all the roles within the business and by extension the people who will come in to take control of some of these roles once Untold is a revenue making business.
A feeling I’ve had is that certain roles (like social media) are under-appreciated. It only takes doing the tasks for a while and feeling like a fish out of water to fully appreciate the value that people bring to these roles.
One of the questions that has given me sleepless nights is understanding which of these two roles I’ll take more permanently in future. I think this is partly because I have a clear vision of what I want to try and achieve in terms of business models but I suspect it’s also because I have a hard time trusting people and I feel like handing over one of the roles might lead to fxck-ups.
Gun to my head I would give the content role to someone else because I have the most fun thinking of models but I’m also learning a lot about the content creation aspect and enjoying it. This is my long-winded way of saying I’m confused but still having fun.
Farai Mudzingwa is a 24-year-old Zimbabwean entrepreneur directing video content for The Story Untold ZW — a Zimbabwean media startup exploring the journey of local entrepreneurs/creatives. Please subscribe to the channel The Story Untold ZW to help the channel reach 1000 subscribers. Thanks!