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The “Do It Yourself” Mentality

On Saturday, November 3rd, I was asked to speak on a “D.I.Y. & Lifestyle” Panel at Seattle YouTube Day at the Living Computers Museum and Labs in Seattle, WA. Below you will find my outline for my presentation as well as a link to the panel. Enjoy!


“My name is Carly Ann and I am the founder of a company called “Smashing Ivory Productions”. I run four different YouTube channels as well as a number of social media accounts and if you see “Carly Smashes (fill in the blank here)”, it is probably something that I run. As you can see, my four channels are about Music, Beauty, Education, Comedy and Entertainment.

That is why I was somewhat surprised when I found out I would be on the DIY/Lifestyle panel because I don’t really do any kind of crafting. However, I realized this is a perfect panel for me to be on because I really love to embrace the “Do It Yourself” Mentality. Here’s what I mean:

When I think of DIY and Lifestyle, I think of two words:

Entrepreneur and Creator.

I imagine on some level, everyone in this room can relate and identify with these two words in some capacity.

Now, I do run a history channel on YouTube so allow me to geek out for a second…

The word “entrepreneur” is a French word coined by economist and businessman Jean-Baptiste Say. The word literally means “adventurer” which is so cool! You are discovering new ways of making money, creating and selling a product, keeping an audience or customer happy, and fulfilling your life with hard work that means a lot to you.

I’ve had a lot of different kinds of work experience ranging from marketing, customer service and retail to technology, audio engineering and composing. Through working all of these different kinds of jobs I have discovered one thing that has stuck with me; I really gravitate towards an entrepreneurship mentality. In fact, it’s more than a mentality - it’s a lifestyle.

If there is one thing I can impress upon you today, it’s that…

If you want to seriously work for yourself, you have to take working for yourself seriously.

This is not the easy way out. It takes a lot of incredibly hard work. At the end of the day, the last person you report to is you. That can be either very freeing if you aren’t the type to like authority figures, but that can also be very crippling if you are suffering from self doubt and deprecation. You have to take care of yourself. You have to maintain a positive attitude and get your mind and body into the best shape possible to be as productive as possible.

You are sailing in uncharted waters here because you’re an adventurer setting out on a journey that no one has taken before. You have to be in the best shipshape as possible. You need a healthy crew and if you’re a crew of one, you better you have to take good care of yourself! Start thinking of your expenses as business expenses. Anything that goes in or out goes into the business of you. Develop a disciplined work ethic and maintain a balanced schedule. I am absolutely not perfect at this but I work toward it every day and every example of my success stems from a healthy lifestyle.

The other word I think of is “Creator”. This word literally means to “breathe life into something”. (I love that concept!) It means to “do it yourself”. While developing an entrepreneur’s lifestyle can be challenging, becoming a creator is easier than ever before.

I think we can all agree that YouTube is a phenomenal platform to learn any skill we want to learn. In fact, nowadays you really don’t have any excuse not to TRY to learn anything. If you’re sitting out there in the audience today wishing you knew a skill, stop waiting and start teaching yourself NOW. We are living in a day of unprecedented power to the individual to learn and master any skill they want to accomplish.

Not to mention you are surrounded in this very room by a community of creators in Seattle that are cheering you on from the sidelines. We are so lucky to be living in this city because we are privileged to be surrounded by so many resources and models of success in technology and creative fields.

All of my skills I have learned in creating content have come from YouTube and online resources in some capacity. My editing, directing, cinematography, makeup, costumes… the list goes on and on. I had to learn how to reverse engineer my ideas and when I didn’t know how to do something, I taught myself using my numerous resources.

Any of you out there considering starting a channel, you don’t have an excuse anymore.


You can teach yourself the skills you need and develop the lifestyle you want. The world wants to hear your unique voice; there is a niche and a community for everyone. Make content that you want to watch. Make content that you are proud of. Learn something new every time you step in front of the camera or open your editing software. Get better with every creation you make.

You are the creator of your destiny and you deserve to be happy.

I wish you all the best of luck on your adventures in the creative high seas.”


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