The Rebuilding Dad Project
I have had several excruciatingly harsh decisions over the last decade since my divorce due to protracted custody disputes. At each point, as a single dad, first and foremost, I strove to ensure the best outcomes for my sons, even at my impairment (what loving dad wouldn’t?). A few of those decisions were risky and didn’t work out. Consequently, over the past 5 or 6 years, some crucial things around my identity diminished. Depression also took hold. I lost significant amounts of physical and mental acuity. This depression is ironic as I have worked for 32 years in Mental Health as a recreational therapist, helping thousands recover from depression.
I had let myself become pretty weakened already when the pandemic quarantine hit. That just about did me in, not only further damaging my physical and mental health but taking my last bit of financial resources. Yet, the only thing I have/had left is a relentless drive to continue to be the best parent I can. So, without any hesitation, when my youngest announced he wanted to make a living as a YouTube star, with “Let’s Play” videos, I pledged my unjudging support for him and helped him start it, which has led us down a new path.
He and I started studying social media businesses and business plans. We had many discussions about developing projects to build up a monetized YouTube and social media following for him. But, we kept finding ourselves talking about the need to “rebuild” me. Searching for social media themes to develop, we came back repeatedly to “rebuilding Dad.” We discussed how my overall poor health was keeping us from some life goals as a family. We talked about how my massive weight gain and depression impeded me from being the father I strove to be. We talked about how I could work on these issues on social media and provide “followers” with a valuable service.
Instead of eschewing the topic, I consented to address the real elephant in the room (pun intended), me and my poor health. Through careful deliberation, I even agreed to do this in a very public way, but only if we could develop a social media business plan that truly helps others. At this point, we came up with “The Rebuilding Dad Project.”
The project would document on social media, me, with Elias’ help, regaining my health and pursue some of our family goals. By doing this, followers would benefit from a community discussing recovery and mental health issues and might even find inspiration from the project to work on such a recovery themselves. In the worst case, people would find entertainment in our struggles, maybe to the point of schadenfreude. We planned to finance the project through the Patron model and social media monetization, such as YouTube ad revenue and selling ad space on a blog. The plan calls for stopping blog ad space sales when and if patrons cover the budget.
Throughout the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021, The Rebuilding Dad Project began to assemble the social media pieces we needed. I started this blog and gained a handful of followers (I’m am very grateful for such close friends) through several reminiscing-themed posts. Elias and I learned a little about social media production and marketing through this work. The project started a YouTube channel, opened a Patreon.com creator’s account, started Google Ads, and made a project store (selling some shirts and mugs). We are ready to start the next evolution.
We plan monthly video entries to discuss our actions taken and tracking the progress of The Rebuilding Dad Project.
Our Introductory and Vision Video Will go here on March 1 (oops, everyone knew I meant March 15, right? [double oops, everyone knew I meant soon, right?])
My First Post: