Our Elimination from Stream On Created An Epiphany

Last week's challenge was incredibly difficult. We went into the Stream On competition with the smallest community. My challenge to my community was to help draw in more eyeballs to my channel. Although the people who come into my channel generally enjoy themselves and tend to stick around, the discovery of my content could definitely improve. So I set out to find better ways for people to discover me and challenged my own community to do the same! 

Last week's challenge was to grow your audience. The judges wanted to see us increase our numbers. I did my best. A lot of the people in my community are supporters outside of Twitch and generally lurkers. Lurkers are people who are there, but not active because we all have lives outside of Twitch. I am often watching other streams as well, just lurking, because when I am not streaming, I am usually working too. I set up giveaways to encourage viewer participation and reached out to those outside the Twitch platform to get in there and follow, subscribe and just watch the stream for a bit. My community did the rest! 

My community kept my chat active. They were very welcoming to new people. They reached out to their own families and friends. They were sharing posts. My tiny little community started an uproar on Twitch. We started that challenge week with BARELY 100 paying subscribers, maybe even less. I can't exactly remember. We ended that challenge week with almost 200!!! How does one tiny community gain 100 subscribers in just ONE week!? I have no idea! All I can tell you is that it wasn't just me. My chat kept people active and welcomed. I had a day of nothing but super slidey socks. They really wanted to stay in the game and I really wanted it too and we worked very hard. Even after the challenge week, things haven't ended with that! We are currently over 200 subscribers and almost to our 3rd unlocked emote slot! How could someone not be proud of that!? I'm so proud of my tiny community! I hoped that this was good enough to stay out of the bottom three, but that last Bob Ross stream really scared me as I had some bad internet issues and struggled to stay online and eventually had to end stream altogether. Bob Ross stream would have been great as the numbers were climbing fast. I hoped that the rest of my week would make up for it. 

When the second episode for Stream On started, my heart was in flip flops all day. I knew that if I was on the bottom three, I'd be going home as my community was so much smaller than the rest. I knew that if it came down to votes, I wouldn't have enough. I held my breath, hoping that I somehow escaped the bottom!

 

 
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When they showed the bottom three, my heart fell to the floor. There I was. #12 in channel growth. I was bottom three. Two of us would be going home and unless some miracle happened, I just knew one of the two would be me. I still held on to hope of some sort that someone saw a reason to keep me. When the votes started, my community tried very hard to vote as many times as they could, but only one vote counted for each person. For what seemed like an eternity, people were voting and I was sitting in my chair. My hands were sweating. My heart was racing. My mouth was dry. There was still a chance. The judges could vote to keep me in the game. The votes could SWAY the judges, but I could still be saved by them. I held on to that. I wasn't ready to leave the competition just yet. I was just getting started! My community was really strong, we were just super small. We needed time to grow. My heart pumped so fast. I couldn't swallow. I could barely breathe. I wasn't all the way on the bottom of the chart, I was at least #12. I wasn't #14. My stream at least did better than the other two at the bottom. Which meant I COULD have a chance. It meant that I definitely had potential to grow and I was growing! 

In the end, our community was eliminated from the competition. The viewer count just wasn't there. I had the lowest amount of community votes and no judges votes to keep me in the game. My heart sank. I wasn't ready to go home just yet. I truly believe that had I not had internet issues during my last push... during my Bob Ross stream, my viewers may have been there, but sometimes RNG just kicks you while you're down. Watch the Full Episode here and the Post Show Interview here Just FFWD to about 23 minutes in.   I do not envy the judges. I spent some time in almost all of these streamers and they ALL deserve to win. The judges definitely had their work cut out for them. It was a very tough bottom three and to have to choose two to go home... I heard they did end up crying a little too.

 
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I want to say something to my community. We did not get eliminated due to lack of trying or lack of community support. Our community was not weak. You guys were STRONG!!! As a matter of fact, you guys did AMAZING!!! Our growth that week was outstanding! We did that all on our own! During that week, we had NO major hosts. I didn't know that hosts could actually change the numbers of the metrics. Had I known that, I might have reached out to the bigger streamers that I know and asked for some support. I'm sure we could have stayed in the game longer had I just done that. It might have hurt my pride a little, but I would have done it for us. We struggled with the one thing we have been struggling with since the beginning: discovery.  It was the only thing that pushed us to the bottom three. Viewer count was not there. And it definitely wasn't because we couldn't keep the people in there. The people who came generally stayed (except during Bob Ross stream because nobody wants to watch an unstable stream). We did great! As a leader of our community, I am very proud of us. 

After the elimination, I was very sad. I felt like my chance was ripped from me before it was even given. I felt like the odds were just stacked against me anyway. I really believe that had we been given more time, our community would have continued sky rocketing like it was and still is. It was really hard to stay positive and to not try and analyze every single aspect of what made the judges' decisions to let me go. It's hard not to be bitter about it. I really wanted this. I didn't think that I would actually win the competition, but I also didn't think that I would be eliminated in the first round. I felt that we did very well as a community. I literally cried myself to sleep that night. I mean I really, really cried crocodile tears and everything. I cried. I cried out all the despair, all the hopelessness and all feelings of defeat. I cried out my bitter feelings and cried out my feelings of abandonment. I cried until I actually fell asleep. 

I woke up the next day, eyes swollen as ever, and said to myself: you can do this. This is just the beginning. Your elimination was not the end of your story. It was just the beginning. Now get your butt up and prove that you were worth keeping on the show. I got up and did my educational stream with Diomedes Industries and carried on like I was still on this show. I still want to grow my community and make my streams better. I still want to reach out to other streamers and work on being discovered. The support for the stream is still pouring in, and I really don't think it's sympathy support as these people who are coming in now are just now starting to see the content! These new people seem to be just starting to discover the Twitch Platform as a creative user.

We may have been eliminated, but we aren't going to stop fighting to make this work. Being on Stream On taught me a lot of things. I learned how to rally my community and that having fun things in streams like special events could go far in stream growth. I learned that my community can come together and make a huge difference. I learned that I have so much more support in my community than I thought I did. I learned how to be a better streamer. I learned how to make things more visually appealing to a viewer. I feel like I learned a lot about being a streamer. But I learned one more important lesson. It is one that I have been struggling with for a while. I've been asking myself the same questions for months now. Where is my time best served? Where do I want to succeed? Can I be a leather worker and a streamer?

Can I Be A Leather Worker AND A Streamer?
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I am ready to answer that question now... the answer to this question really gives me a clear direction to the path that I want to take. I've been stuck looking at this fork in the road for months now. I'm ready to make my decision. Stream On helped me with that. Can you be a leather worker AND a streamer? The answer to that is no. You must choose. I can be a streamer that leather works, or I can be a leather worker that streams. That is it, right there! You can't do both! It's impossible. One or the other needs all of your attention. As a streamer that leather works, your focus and attention needs to be on your stream. On your chat. On your viewer. Your job as a streamer that leather works is to create entertaining and engaging content around your leather work. This definitely pulls you away from any and all productive leather working. As a Leather worker who streams, your job is to create leather goods for sale at a rate that you can push out. Your job is to use your stream for promotional purposes and community connection.  You need to be able to focus your attention on your creations for sale. On your online business and on your leather networking. These two are different! Your approach to streaming is going to be different when you do this. A streamer who leather works will focus to make a living streaming. A leather worker who streams will focus to make a living selling their leather goods. If you look at this from a gamer's perspective: in gaming, a VERY TINY percentage of people make it on the Twitch Platform for their skills in gaming alone. This small percentage of people are famous in their Esports. They stream their game play, but they don't really engage a whole lot in chat or on their live stream. They are grateful for the support, but they aren't known for their entertainment. They are known for their game play. They are able to sustain subscribers on Twitch for that alone. But the greater majority of gaming streamers on Twitch have to be entertaining and engaging. A small percentage of them are actually really good at the game.  This is how we need to look at streaming on Creative as well. There are a very few creative streamers who do well on Twitch JUST for their art work. I believe it is an even smaller number in creative who succeed for being good at art. The other bunch of us can only succeed by being entertaining and engaging around our art. I now know what I want to do. 

I want to be a streamer who leather works. 

I did not win at Stream On, but I still feel like a winner. I feel like I am going to succeed and I think Stream On helped me to discover my path. It helped me to choose which one is best for me. I think I'm a good streamer and I want to continue being a creative streamer pioneer! This is just the beginning for us in creative. When all the old time leather workers are gone and all that's left is these kids who only know how to find stuff online, I will be in their face as a leather worker and I will be able to help them on their journey. I will know all the people and have all the contacts because I started this right now, and because I am not giving up. 

So, now that we are no longer in the game show, what's in it for us as a stream? I think you can expect a whole lot more content from me. I plan to focus more on what my chat wants to see and less on what I need to do for leather work. I'd like to get my stream to a place where it can actually financially support me to do this full time, so that way I don't have to worry about pushing product to make some kind of money. I want my stream to be about YOU. I want to be YOUR streamer. I want to make things that are appealing and fun to watch. No longer will I sacrifice my time with you to create product for a show. I want you to walk with me on this journey. I want you to experience our growth as a community and I want you to be involved. I'm ready for us to level up together. Let's just continue to Stream On!!! 

For those of you who voted, I saw it! I have gone back through the video a couple of times and saw your #suchikuchi ... I want to thank you for voting for me and for your support!

I have a new streaming schedule... again, I know, but now that I'm not on Stream On, I feel like I would like to spend the hours that I have reduced to actually create and plan better content. 

 
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Deck Box Edition 1

Deck Box Edition 1

Tuesday: We are working on deck boxes. These have been something that has been long requested and I would really like to work to perfect the design. We will be making deck boxes and Dice Bags for Table Top Gaming. 

Wednesday: More Deck Boxes and then two Knife Sheaths. 

Thursday: Book Markers, Stream On Episode 3, and a Leather Tooled Dice Tray... you choose the theme on twitter poll on Wednesday. 

Friday: Educational Stream with Diomedes Industries: Hatchet Sheath and Handle Wrap. 

Saturday: Finish work and Gaming. You can find me on 

twitch.tv/suchikuchi