Lessons From ‘Behind The Try’

photo credit: Second Try

Since venturing out on their own, The Try Guys have done so much, so well…and now they made a documentary about it. I watched it and was incredibly inspired. Just like with their book, there are lessons from Behind The Try that can inspire, motivate and pick you up if necessary.

I’ve written about my love for the Try Guys before; they are some of my favorite Youtubers. I enjoyed their book, I really love their content and get a lot out of it in terms of inspiration and motivation — and laughs.

Since I last wrote about them they’ve done some seriously amazing things.

A New York Times bestseller, a sold-out spectacular tour, a successful podcast with two spin-offs — and that’s just the stuff they do together! Keith started a second business with chicken sauce, got third place in Bring The Funny with Lewberger and went on tour with them. Zack started his own tea company and has a new podcast coming, Ned got a book- and a sponsor deal with Target (as well as another baby!) and Eugene made one of the most beautiful videos I’ve ever seen and since then he’s been advocating for queer people of color – creating more space, understanding and opportunities for them.

I love their content and so I bought a ticket to the online premiere of their movie, watching it on the first Saturday morning of my Christmas break. I was incredibly inspired by it.

Here’s why.

Lessons From Behind The Try #1: You don’t need to look or be a certain way to do what you want

The Try Guys are an odd bunch if you look at them at first glance. They look nothing alike, first off, but they also really don’t look like the typical Youtuber. Especially the male you tubers are usually a certain type. Classically handsome and hearttrobby, square, appealing to our most basic instincts in terms of attractiveness.

No-one can deny that being good-looking is an asset -in most ways-, but at the end of the day? It is never what makes you. It’s never the reason you succeed, it can’t be. Especially in the outside world, but not even in entertainment.

The Try Guys prove that to me every day, which sounds like a dig about their looks but it really isn’t. They are good-looking men, each in their own way, but they are people that you could bump into at work, in a coffee place, in the Regular People World!

So whenever I feel like I’m too unattractive, too frumpy, too old, too “normal”, and that I won’t be able to be successful in certain areas because of that, I remember the Try Guys. They are a testament that it’s not your age, your jaw line of your abs that determine if you “make it”, if you will achieve success. It’s your work ethic, your perseverance and everything unique about you.

Sure, looks might be a lil’ boost that makes certain things easier. But ‘looks’ can also be in taking care of yourself and dressing well, and in the end it will be everything else that you are that gets you there.

Lessons From Behind The Try #2: You can promote something without it being authentic

In the documentary you see the Try Guys planning the promo and marketing around their book, and you also catch glimpses of their process of how they produce videos, where they also think about how to make viral videos. Topics, thumbnail choices, and the promotion of there content: it all comes up.

At one point you see them with their social media strategist, planning a week of content to promote their book and their videos, and their tour. And of course they have to promote their stuff – it is their freaking livelihood.

I’ve always had a bit of trouble with this part of writing and being on the internet. I’ve gotten more comfortable with putting myself out there. Not just with making things (that part I’m fully cool with), but also with drawing attention to it in the hope that others will read, download or even buy.

I tweet about my books now, ask people to buy them, I promote my posts and my ebooks on my social media. I do it now…but I still don’t like it very much. It feels like something I have to do, and sometimes it makes me feel a bit iffy. Like promoting it takes away from my authentic and genuine process of making something. Like I’m just doing it for the likes, for exposure or for clout, and I hate clout chasers. I can smell it miles away and it puts me off easy. That’s why I have trouble promoting my stuff – I don’t want to be that guy, you know?

But when I look at the Try Guys, ad how they are thinking about their work, not just making it but also showcasing it, I realise you can also see it as an integral, beautiful part of the process of making something: if you make something, you love it. And that thing you love? You want it to share it with those who might enjoy it. And through broadcasting it, you’re giving it the best chance to reach anyone and everyone who might enjoy it.

People are busy and distracted, and they won’t be able to find something they might love if you don’t put in consistent work into the showcasing — and that would be a real shame.

So hey. It’s okay to think, and plan, and DO some promoting for the things you make.

Lessons From Behind The Try #3: Follow what moves you

The Try Guys are four distinctly different people, and they have very different interests.

For Keith, the things that he loves to do most are very clearly comedy and music. For Zach it’s pop culture, movies and he has a bit of a “let’s get weird” thing with the content that he gets to produce. Ned loves comedy, business, parenting and lifestyle. Eugene is most interested in fashion, creating and producing more diverse content with which to raise the voices of the LGBT-community, especially those of colour.

In the documentary, you see them following these interests naturally. They both grab and create opportunities that align with their passions, and they make it work. There is no judgment, no resistance, they just follow what they naturally love the most.

It’s not easy to fully be able to hone in on your real interests and pursue them. It’s easier to follow what you see other people do, or what you are told to follow.

But as you see them move towards the things they want and are interested in, you can’t help but to take that with you into the world to do that a little more too.

Trust what moves you. Don’t think too much about ‘what you should do’ or ‘where you should be going with your life.’ Hell, Ned has a chemistry degree but pursued comedy instead, and Keith started out a French horn major before but switched to theatre, losing his scholarships in the process.

Follow what moves you, and trust the process as much as you can.

Lessons from Behind The Try #4: You can pursue collective and personal goals at the same time

During the documentary, you see all of the projects the Try Guys do, both the ones they do together like the Try Guys videos, the tour and this documentary, but also their individual ones.

And yes, sometimes they worry about how to combine it all and there is stress and exhaustion involved.

But never, not once, is there ever the notion that they can’t do it all, or that they shouldn’t. There is never a moment where one of the Try Guys has to give up a personal project because of their shared commitment to being the Try Guys. Keith gets to do Bring the Funny, Eugene gets to do personal production projects for which he is away every once in a while. Zach pursues directing and pop culture, and Ned manages the things he does for their company, with the goals he has with his wife Ariel and raising his kids.

At all the times, the idea that they have shared goals AND personal goals, is fully accepted, never up for discussion. If any sacrifice has to be made, it is shared sacrifice so that the person with their own project actually GETS to do that. There is only support and in-depth conversations on how to make it all work.

This is not just a phenomenal standard to set in all partnerships, professional and personal, I feel this IS the standard to hold.

It’s the standard I will take with me in work and relationships. I can have my personal goals and work on them, while also combining them with the collective goals.

Whether it is combining my writing with my job, or my creative pursuits with making sure my boyfriend and I can pay our mortgage: the standard is that we’re going to make it work. They can co-exist.

These are the things I took from the documentary, the lessons from Behind the Try that I immediately got from the motie. I encourage you all to watch the documentary, because maybe you find completely different things in there that inspire you.

If you do, make sure to share. 🙂

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