Chapter 13: Mindset
While this might seem obvious when you’re getting started, having the right mindset is the most important aspect of becoming a successful streamer. And many people fail, not because becoming a professional YouTube or Twitch streamer is hard — but because they approach the challenge in the wrong way.
And yes, anyone can Google how to set a follower goal on Twitch, or what camera is the best for their budget. But if you’re going to succeed in the long run, you’ll need to instill yourself with a couple of extremely important traits — and put yourself in the right mindset.
Many people lose time in overly complex and long planning — up until the point where it seems like it’s all too much, and your channel will never get off the ground. The term for this is “analysis paralysis”, where you overanalyze and talk yourself out of doing something because your doubt and fear overcome you.
So, you need to have something practical right away — something that will pump you up for further work. Don’t hesitate — do something today, heck, even in the next hour. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be huge. Just something small that will get you on the right track towards your goals. This could be as little as setting up a social media page on a platform that you didn’t before, or something as easy as updating your Twitch bio.
At the end of the day (or rather, in the beginning), the only way to go forward is to take massive action. If you don’t take massive action, you’ll continue to stay in the same position you’re in now.
The Internet is absolutely littered with people who have started streaming projects and given up after a week or two. This is where the importance of discipline comes in. You don’t win by doing something one time; you win by being disciplined and productive. It’s countless actions repeated over and over until the point where they become habit.
If you want to get to that first 100 CCV or get partnered, you’re going to need to be consistently productive — and that takes discipline. Continuous action is what gets you going, and keeps you at it. You need a long-term, multi-month plan filled with all kinds of subtasks that you’ll work on every single day.
Remember — a lack of discipline is what separates people with potential that couldn’t make it from the successful ones at the top. There’s a famous quote by Kevin Garnett, former NBA Hall-of-Famer: “Hard work beats Talent, when Talent doesn’t work hard.”
And while you’ll see plenty of tips on how to set goals on Twitch and how to reach them, you need to understand this first — there’s no real shortcut if you want to succeed. It takes hard work, and hard work takes discipline. It’s as simple as that.
Also, that discipline needs to come from within — this isn’t school or a 9 to 5 job where someone will watch over you and force you to be productive— it’s all on you. If you’re not disciplined, you can only hold yourself accountable, and if you succeed, you reap all of the rewards.
You’re the only person that can control your actions and your mind. If you want to be happy, successful, and disciplined, you have to make a conscious choice to do all of the things that lead to that — and no one can do that but you.
So take a moment to pause, think this through, and decide you really want it.
Great — because now you can really commit to this and become more disciplined. In time, this will be your primary source of willpower.
And if you’re ready to set out on this journey, remember — you need to start today.
There are no excuses and no acceptable distractions. It’s hard to break the pattern of choosing to watch your favorite streamer today, or just play a game, rather than checking off a task from your list to becoming a streamer.
This is especially important early on because you need to establish yourself as the person who’s in charge — leave no possibility of procrastination. You need to start doing things for your success here and now.
With the right mindset, even someone who’s not the best gamer or the most extroverted person can succeed as a creator and a streamer — all it takes is hard work and discipline, and you’ll quickly get into a growth-oriented mindset.
Once you’re focused on growth, you’ll stop being satisfied and settling for what you have — and you’ll become more certain in your ability to become bigger and better.
Are you afraid of revealing your face on your stream — understandable, but you need to do it right away. You don’t have the right contacts in the world of streaming, but you’ve got everything else needed for a collaboration? Go out there, join a discord or other kinds of online communities. Take the leap, you won’t regret it.
Every issue is solvable, and no obstacle is insurmountable. Don’t allow for fear of failure or the unknown to block your discipline and hinder you on the way to success. Fear is just another sign that you’re growing and stepping out into the unknown — and you need to learn how to face it.
Enjoy Your Success
When you start out to do something big, it’s obvious that the way forward will be filled with failures and obstacles. That’s only natural — but it’s also why you need to learn to recognize and enjoy success; celebrate your wins and give yourself credit when credit is due.
And remember — even the smallest win is a stepping stone towards your bigger goals. Even if it seems silly, celebrate the tiny wins, and you’ll become more pumped up for the stuff you need to do tomorrow.
So, you’ve landed your first follower — or you’ve joined a new team and got the first win with them. Maybe you’ve started analyzing your stream or the game in a more productive way?
All of these are successes, so recognize them as such.
And when we say “celebration,” we don’t mean taking the day off for every little thing you accomplish. Celebrating means acknowledging your progress — taking a few minutes to stop and “smell the roses” and reflect on what you’ve achieved is important for maintaining morale.
Then – get right back to the grind.
Nothing happens overnight
When you take a look at history, you will realize one important fact — nothing happens overnight. And that’s true for both successes and failures. When you scratch beneath the surface, you will find underlying causes and trends that led to both.
If you look up the statistics of your favorite streamers, you’ll remember an important fact — they didn’t start with a million followers, and they certainly didn’t get there overnight. If they could make it, there’s no reason why you can’t.
That’s why we’re going back to another recurring theme of the proper streamer mindset — facing obstacles and pain head-on. Remember, if something feels challenging, it’s probably good for you.
When you work out, you need to put stress on your muscle to make it grow — and any other skill is the same. If you’re in your comfort zone, you’re not going forward. When something feels easy, you need to remember that success doesn’t feel easy. If it was, everyone would be at the top.
You need to evolve as a content creator — instead of trying to sidestep challenges and obstacles, you have to seek them out. That’s why it’s important to do the things you’re afraid of first. Experiment with stuff, see what happens.
When you choose what you’re going to do, find the harder thing and do it first. That way, you’ll always grow, and you’ll always keep learning and stay ahead of the curve.
Own your failures
While celebrating your successes is important, there’s always the other side of the coin — and that means holding yourself accountable for all of the failures.
Remember, you’re the only person making all of the calls when it comes to streaming; no one can push you to go further than yourself, and no one else can hold you back either. You have total control over your actions, attitude, and your mindset.
That’s why it’s essential to properly process any failures and actually learn from them. Trust us, patting yourself on the back and shrugging off responsibility is the worst path forward — or rather, it isn’t a path forward at all, because you’ll always stay in the same place.
You won’t be learning from your failures. If you’re late for scheduled streams and your followers go elsewhere — it’s not their fault, it’s yours. And sure, your bus may have been late from school or work, or you had car trouble, or the Internet was breaking up.
The easiest thing to do is to say that this stuff isn’t your fault — and that’s precisely why you shouldn’t do it. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, you won’t learn your lessons for next time. Maybe you need a better Internet provider, a faster connection, or you need to leave earlier to ensure you won’t be late.
All of this is stuff you learn from experience — and everyone’s personal experiences and obstacles are different. The things that will stand between you and your goals are not necessarily the same problems other people may have. And the more you accept your fault for not overcoming the obstacles, the more you’ll learn from them.
Remember — you need to meet your obstacles head-on to achieve growth. That’s especially true if you’re failing.
Problems don’t matter once you solve them
When you’re faced with a couple of problems simultaneously, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and on the verge of giving up. You need to avoid that by putting yourself in the right problem-solving mindset.
If you’re faced with an issue that seems unsolvable, that’s just a solution you haven’t discovered yet — but it’s there. And it won’t always be apparent, and it won’t come to you right away. However, if you put yourself in the mindset we’ve talked about so far and apply those principles: you will come up with a solution eventually and move on.
This means staying calm and confident in the face of any issue — and if there’s one thing you’ll need as a budding streamer, it’s patience and resolve.
Truth is essential
The biggest lies people tell are those they tell to themselves. After all, it’s the easy route — and you know what we’ve said about easy routes.
Instead, you need to embrace truth as the ultimate value in your streaming. It’s essential, and it means growth and freedom. And in this context, truth means being honest about yourself, your skills, and your shortcomings. That’s the only way you’ll be able to systematically analyze and improve your broadcast.
If people are bouncing away quickly after joining — why is that happening? What’s stopping you from growing? Why is your viewership filled with “tourist viewers” instead of a loyal, real audience? How can you move forward from this?
The answers to all of these questions are things we know deep down — and we can discover them if we’re not afraid to have an honest “look in the mirror.” That’s why truth is so essential — it tells us what’s wrong, so we know what to focus on.
Of course, being objective is no easy business. For most people, it’s practically impossible, because they’re unable to defeat their biggest enemy — their ego.
And before you say that you don’t have an ego, let us stop you right there: you do. Everyone does, it’s just basic human nature.
Also, our egos tend to grow bigger when we start standing out of the fold in any particular craft or skill; especially when it’s stuff like streaming, where it all depends on you. As we’ve talked about above, all of your successes and failures are exclusively your own — and as you become successful, controlling your ego will become more difficult precisely because of the successes.
It’s something of a vicious circle, though — if you can’t control your ego, chances are you won’t become successful in the first place. You just won’t have it in you to do some hard introspection and figure out what’s holding you back.
Maybe your commentary isn’t as engaging as you believed — or you’re just not as good at FPS games as you convinced yourself that you were? Stuff like that isn’t easy to acknowledge, as it’s what pushed you to become a streamer in the first place — but once you break with your false convictions, you’ll truly be able to move forward. And get better.
Dealing with the opinions of others
At first, it can be debilitating to think of others seeing you as uninteresting. It’s a crippling fear for all streamers when they start out — and that’s why it’s important to form a healthy attitude towards the opinions of others.
Obviously, you want to be popular — if you didn’t have that need, you wouldn’t be into streaming in the first place. And that’s why shrugging off the ridicule of others isn’t easy — it seems like it’s invalidating your entire skillset.
However, that fear just holds you back — and you need to shut it down. A Roman philosopher put it nicely two thousand years before the Internet and streaming were even invented: “we suffer more often in imagination than we suffer in reality”.
In other words, don’t overthink how others see you. Over time, this mindset will give you a lot of confidence — ironically enough, making you more popular among others. Generally in life, it’s a good idea not to worry about things you can’t control — and what other people think is definitely on that list.
The honest truth of it is — other people aren’t actually thinking about you all that much. If you’re worried about your friends thinking your zero-viewer stream is ridiculous and making fun of you for it, just remember this — they’re not actually thinking about it.
Whenever you think your teammates will give you a hard time for practicing more than ranking up — remember that they’ll be thanking you in a few weeks when your KDA improves. Whatever people think at any given time — just keep in mind that they’ll respect you when you make progress down the line, and focus on that.
Accept that doing things wrong is a natural part of any process — if we weren’t bad at something in the first place, there wouldn’t be any room for improvement. And realizing exactly what you need to improve while putting your ego aside is the best way to go forward. That’s what we mean by accepting truth — it’s the truth about yourself.
And while you shouldn’t be devastated by what other people think — you shouldn’t go overboard and just disregard everyone’s opinion either. That’s not truthfulness, that’s just a rampant ego.
Not caring when someone makes fun of you or your stream is fine — but when someone challenges your opinion on it with constructive criticism, you should embrace it instead of shrugging it aside. Don't be afraid to be curious and ask questions even when someone is criticizing you.
In fact, this is one of your best opportunities to avoid tunnel vision and get an objective look at your streaming — ultimately, this will help you grow into a more confident and better content creator. Approach each conversation about your work with an open mind, and there’s no telling what you might learn by talking about it with all kinds of people. From your PC build to your stream’s theme — listen to the community, and try to extract some value from their interest in your work.
Keep this in mind — only work will help you progress, and only doing nothing will set you back. Every other failure is temporary, and only a learning opportunity so you can succeed in the future. That’s why you need to treat everything you do as an experiment from which you’re learning something.
Try another greeting at the start of your videos — or another hero, streaming software, or even another game. Anything to shake up the status quo once you feel like you’re not progressing. And then document those changes and see which ones have resulted in growth.
If you stick with it, keep trying, success isn’t just possible — it’s inevitable.