Authentically, Megan Batoon.
With more than 1 million loyal followers on her own YouTube channel, a successful podcaster and an MTV “Creator To Watch,” Megan Batoon has gone from college student focused on graphic design to modern-day influencer with her very own lifestyle brand. But how did she do it? All by trusting her gut, focusing on the things she loves the most and being her true, authentic self.
If you haven’t heard Megan, trust us when we say that she will make you laugh, think, and want to conquer the world; her mission is to bring more authentic and difficult conversations to the forefront. Lucky for you, one of those candid chats starts today: we talked with Megan about everything from her passions and obstacles to how she stays inspired (and keeps it real!). Listen up.
“The journey itself was really me uncovering what I was really passionate about and following that. It was an organic uncovering of what I was interested in. I didn't really have an end goal of any of this until I started making my own business. But even then, I realized everything is ever changing, especially us as humans. We are designed to change and we are designed to grow. We shouldn’t be confined to one thing, even if we think that’s all we have to give or all that we think we are interested in. We can surprise ourselves the more that we grow.
“It’s hard to tell where one thing led to another, other than the fact that I was just very interested in all of the things that I do. When I was in college, I went into graphic design because I loved composition, I loved making something out of nothing. I was also really drawn to dancing, which I guess is considered a traditionally unsuccessful path. I ended up trading the graphic design field to be in the dance realm. But throughout my career, I almost feel like every step that I took, I was pulled into another direction of something that I liked (that I didn’t know I liked).”
For me, going from graphic design to choreographing and podcasting was the journey of finding my voice and how I can be myself the most.”
“Being inspired and staying inspired is the hardest part about making anything because it all spawns from an idea. If you're so burnt out and you don't have any capacity to have new ideas, then you're not going to be able to churn out any material.
I also think that having people that can help you is incredibly important. Being around people who are also trying to change the form or push the boundaries of whatever field they are in can you help you stay inspired. Ultimately, it comes down to hard work, but it also comes down to being in the right place to be inspired.”
“I didn't realize I wanted to diversify until I moved out to LA and realized that there was an opportunity to diversify. I remember going to so many dance auditions and feeling like I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t trained in a specific style of dance enough to get these jobs. But at the same time, I knew I could write, edit, direct and be in front of the camera. I started to feel like I wasn’t fulfilling all the things I knew I could do. Maybe the judges or the artists didn't see that in me, but I saw it in myself. So I ended up just trying to do some personality-driven youtube videos and luckily some people online that were already watching my dance videos were accepting of that. They were the reason that I believed that I could do it.
I think my drive comes from knowing that people are being affected in a positive way by something I am doing, that is the extra fuel that I needed and still need right now to keep going, pushing and trying new things. It’s inevitable to fail and I think it’s a great thing to fail, but to have people who support you no matter what has really helped me push into new avenues.”
“You should make what you want to see in the world. There is already so much of everything else. You have to ask yourself: What do you want to actually like to ingest? What inspires you? Try to keep your integrity on the forefront of that. If you like it, chances are someone else will like it, because like-minded people gravitate towards each other. As long as it’s good quality and you learn as much as you can about whatever you are trying to do, it will only help you in the end.”
“With the podcast, I really wanted to expand into an older audience, where I could start talking about issues that I am dealing with in my life. It gave me the opportunity to be a little more personable than the attention span on youtube, which is pretty quick. I just wanted to help people in a way that was more streamlined, in a way that they have a capacity to open up on a bit more about uncomfortable topics. A lot of it comes down to the comedy community. I grew up having comedy as an anchor to all that I do. It also felt like every single person in comedy had a podcast, so I wanted to figure out a way to marry that with the advice aspect of helping people, like I did on YouTube.
It’s interesting because in the beginning of my channel I had two very separate audiences. I had people watching solely for dance videos and I had other people merely watching for personality videos. I was trying to figure out a creative way to meld the two so that everybody was getting what they wanted. Comedy is a connective tissue across all cultures—it allows people to be able to relate to each other with just one laugh or one joke. With everything i do, it has a backbone of comedy. I wouldn't want it any other way.”
The Importance of Female Entrepreneurship
“I think women have been doing incredible things for years, but now it’s only getting seen a bit more. Female entrepreneurship is just one of the many awe inspiring things that we have been doing for a while and I am so happy I can help move that needle for future generations. To show them what we are capable of, what a fair chance looks like, and what feeling respected feels like.”
“I would love to be remembered for being authentic. I really pride myself on having a lot of integrity with everything I do, almost to a fault. It would be nice to be known for uncovering what it means to be a real person in a world that’s fabricated for acceptance.”