Advice for life and work: Caleb Yule - Freelance of Stories of Note
Caleb Yule is the Founder of Stories of Note, a film company dedicated to recording and amplifying important stories that are seldom heard. Caleb works with non-profits and their funders, taking a strengths-based approach to storytelling, portraying all subjects in their best light.
Caleb is a master of timing and in this episode, he talks about how he has managed to work a 4 day week doing what he loves. For anyone who wants to work as little as possible and spend the time they are working doing what they feel most passionately about, this one is for you.
Find Caleb's life and career advice below.
Caleb's life advice
01. Don’t put pressure on people when you want to find something out
Play for adults is critical in our stressful go-go-go lives, according to Rebekah.
As discussed in the podcast, people tend to open up the most at the end of an interview, once the pressure is off. In a formal setting, from a job interview or a date, most of us feel the need to deliver interesting answers to questions we’re asked and naturally, we begin to feel slightly unnatural. Our brains are thinking of what to say, as they do so well in regular conversations, but they’re also simultaneously considering how we’re coming across. It’s no wonder we often fluff what we say or get flustered, we’re concerned by thoughts we don’t usually have in our heads - we are distracted!
To put anyone at ease next time you have something to ask them, try to get them into a state of flow, where they’re engaging their brain fully in the topic and wait until you feel they’re no longer thinking about how they’re coming across before you ask them whatever you wanted to ask, chances are that your patience will pay off and you’ll get a much more authentic answer, plus they’ll feel more warmly towards you for removing the stress from the situation and so then they’ll be more likely to keep sharing. You’re building trust at this point!
02. Listen to those not often asked
Caleb enjoys sharing the voices of under represented groups because so many people are seldom heard in our society which seems to reward those who shout the loudest with opportunities
Amplifying voices of underrepresented groups is absolutely necessary if we’re actually going to shift structural inequalities– be those around race, gender, age, sexuality, socio-economic backgrounds or abilities
This will sometimes, involve hearing some uncomfortable truths but many times will also lead to stories of empowerment and hope being shared with you. Caleb explains that these are the types of messages we naturally want to pass on, we feel joy when sharing them
You will learn more if you listen to those who are so often not asked to contribute than if you stick with the mainstream tales that everyone else is told. The opportunities for you to form connections and change people’s perception of the world that they live in, simply by you being curious and kind towards them is magical
03. Work as little as possible
Say it loud and say it proud: to want to work as little as possible is not something to be ashamed of. We aren’t here to work ourselves to death. There is more to life than to work and so, whilst it’s important to dedicate time to working towards future goals, many of which require financial stability and therefore require an income, it’s also so refreshing to break free from societal rhetorics that make us feel like work needs to be long and hard. It doesn’t and it shouldn’t. If you feel you’re is then ask yourself why it feels like that and what you can do to start to change that so that you can have a work life balance which is heavier on the life side!
Caleb's career advice
01. Find your niche
Caleb explains that it’s very common when starting out to want to gain experience however possible in the industry you’re going in to. Whilst there is a lot to be said for talking to you and array of professionals to understand the different types of work people do, the age old saying that spreading yourself to thin is a recipe for disaster is not to be forgotten
Finding your niche seem counterintuitive, especially during the earlier stages of your career as it can feel as if you’re limiting the amount of work you’ll be able to pitch for. That isn’t correct though because what actually happens when you lean into what you’re best at and most interested in is that you can much more easily become an expert
Instead of casting your net of target audience as wide as possible, pick a limited number of dream customers and work out what they have in common, what their main problems are (ask them if you’re not sure) and then begin to develop your solutions
02. Make, make, make
Any opportunity, explore and experiment, make and create. We learn from experiences that we put ourselves through and so to truly establish ourselves as professionals simply means to start doing whatever it is that we want to. Just as Zach outlines in episode 01, there is no better time than now to stop referring to yourself as aspiring. If you are creating videos then you are a videographer. The same applies to any industry in line of work that you’re looking to get into. Seize the opportunities present themselves every day to make, make and make - you are what you do and what you make becomes where your expertise lies
03. Teach yourself
There is a recurring theme series 01 of this podcast and that is that you can teach yourself anything if you’re truly interested in it. Caleb taught himself how to become a documentary filmmaker and relied on resources he found on the Internet to hone his craft but he places the largest emphasis on playing around with the equipment that you have in front of you to understand what you can get out of it. There are endless free resources online which you have access to 24 hours a day. Many of the most successful Business owners in the world either never attended formal institutions of education in the first place or decided to drop out of them
Don’t let what you have been prescribed as ‘the’ way to learn to prevent you from finding your own path and furthering your own knowledge however you find most enjoyable and effective
Check out Caleb’s Vimeo to witness his incredible films for yourself.
Big love, thank you for your support