Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Helping Creators Reach Their Potential

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Why Most Creators Fossilize Instead of Evolve

Have you ever seen a living fossil?

No, I don’t mean a dinosaur or Kabuto from Pokemon.

I mean someone who refused to evolve.

See, as humans, we’re built to adapt—we’re constantly evolving our identities, interests, and goals we want to achieve.

But as creators, evolving our content means venturing into uncharted territory.

What if your audience doesn’t like your new stuff? Or worse, what if they hate it so much they leave?

This fear is why so many creators fossilize—meaning they double down on their niche and keep cranking out the same content that gained traction originally.

Are you that passionate about bullet journaling that you’re fine to make dozens, or hundreds, of videos a year about it?

Are you cool with tying your entire identity to being the “Notion” guru?

Are you willing to let Twitter threads on the top mental models of Charlie Munger and other business leaders be your only contribution to the world?

If so, cool.

But for most of us, that’s not enough.

At some point, every creator runs into this scenario…

They’ve evolved in their personal life and developed new interests and learned a bunch of cool new stuff, but they’re afraid to share content about it.

One creator I worked with said when they talked about philanthropy (a new topic they’d become passionate about), their content tanked. But when they put out stale (to them) content about side hustles, their views went through the roof.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

Shouldn’t you stop talking about philanthropy and double down on what “works?”


But even though the philanthropy videos get lower views, maybe it’s really resonating with the people who do watch. And more importantly, do you believe this kind of content will enrich (and diversify) your audience in the long-run and is something you enjoy talking about?

Because here’s the reality…

Your audience probably doesn’t follow you just because of your content. They follow you, not your content. They could get the same, or similar, content with a cursory Google or YouTube search (or ChatGPT whatever AI thing that’s all the rage right now).

Plus, when you choose to fossilize your content, you’ll experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance results when there’s a conflict between your beliefs and behaviors. Meaning, you want to evolve your content, but continue to crank out the same shit that no longer resonates with you, energizes you, or feels authentic. This conflict will amp up your stress, cause you to dread creating content, and eventually lead to burning out (and maybe giving up).

Evolution is a constant, ongoing process. When we stop evolving, we fossilize.

You’re allowed to evolve, and so is your content.

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