Whenever I try something new, I get a teacher. I take the position that I’m stupid. I lower my status right away.
This planet is full of experts. I don’t want fear or pride or anything else to get in the way of developing a new skill.
Desire is a starting place. But that’s not action.
Getting a teacher is action.
Before I got good at any skill, first I had to be stupid. Ping-pong, chess, comedy, business, finance, podcasting, etc.
Now I’m stupid at YouTube.
I have to watch the experts. And find out what they know.
I called Evan Carmichael. He has millions of YouTube subscribers. He didn’t have a master plan. He just followed a few simple steps.
Now he makes all his income from YouTube (and things that came from his YouTube success: book signings, talks, consulting, tours, etc.).
He doesn’t have a desk or a day job. He works from home. He hired his own team (16 employees). And sets his own schedule.
A lot of people want this.
This is how Evan did it:
1. FOLLOW YOUR MOMENTUM
Evan didn’t know he’d get so much success.
He got an idea. Tried it. And it felt good.
So he did it again. And again. And again.
He didn’t say, “I’m going to become a YouTuber.” He didn’t set a goal.
He set a theme.
There’s a huge difference between goals and themes.
Goals happen once. And if they’re not achieved, it’s an automatic failure. Themes are ongoing. And you can keep at it.
I’ll give you an example:
Goal: “ I want to make more money.”
Theme: “I want to help people with this product.”
Goal: “I want to become a YouTube sensation.”
Theme: “I want to feel creative everyday and share it with people online.”
It’s OK if you don’t know what your goals or themes are.
Write down a bunch of “I want” statements.
- “I want to make more money.”
- “I want to quit my job.”
Then write a bunch of “I need” statements.
- “I need to be more relaxed.”
- “I need to stop relying on other people to make happy.”
This will get your brain warm.
Then look at how you can make each “want” and “need” into something generous. “I want to quit my job” becomes “I want to use my gifts in a way that actually fulfill me.”
We all have problems we don’t know how to solve. This is one way. We all have skills and abilities. Combine those with your dream. And you have a “desire.” Then get a teacher.
That’s how I build momentum.
2. CHOOSE ONE WORD
Evan wrote a book called “Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life that Matter.”
His one word is “believe.”
“Believe is in every video in some form,” he said. “It’s the theme in everything. So if you ever feel like you need more believe in your life, there’s always something there for you. The goal with my channel is to provide as much of a spectrum. Because if you watch the same video every day, the message will decline. It’s not going to have impact anymore.”
My one word is two words: “Choose Yourself.”
Evan’s book walks you through how to come up with yours. And I’ll tell you why this is important.
Every day, people try to pull you into their life. They need you for their dreams or problems. When you have your one word, you get to choose your direction. Instead of it being chosen for you.
3. LEARN BY OSMOSIS
Evan’s channel takes you into the lives of Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, Kanye West, Oprah, Bruce Lee, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Tony Robbins, me!
He finds all the best quotes and content from the most successful people in the world. And in every area of life. Then he edits it together and gives you “Steve Jobs’s Top 10 Rules For Success” or “The 5 LESSONS In Life People Learn TOO LATE.”
“By hanging around with more people with a certain thought process, you will adopt that thought process,” Evan said. “So by hanging around successful people, you will think more like those successful people do. Just by hanging around.”
“But do you think you really are able to say, ‘I can think a little bit like Oprah or whoever because of this osmosis idea?’”
“OK. Then how have you seen your own life improve? Or I guess the bigger question is do people actually get better by studying success?”
“100% I don’t think you notice it day-to-day. I think you notice it looking back in chunks of time. So I’ve been doing this journey for a while. I remember a couple years in, I was sitting with my dad. And I had just landed a deal with this super successful CEO who runs a Fortune 100 company and has billions of revenue. We were going to do a three year deal on my channel, a regular show answering questions for my audience. My audience comes on, they ask a question, he answers it, I answer it, next question. That’s the format for an hour.”
He told his dad this.
“My dad looked at me and he said, ‘What gave you the confidence to feel like you’re at the same level as this supper successful CEO?’ He wasn’t asking in a put-down way like ‘You suck.’”
His dad was impressed. And curious. How did his son get so confident?
It was osmosis.
“For the past three years, I’d spent every day hanging out with Oprah Winfrey and James Altucher and Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. And that seeped into me in ways that I didn’t even notice.”
Then he turned it around on me:
“You’ve done how many podcast episodes? 450?”
“So they’re all available. You can go find them on iTunes and Stitcher and all that. If somebody started listening to your podcast every day for the next 450 days… if they started today and compared their life 450 days from now to where they are today… they would see that they learned to choose themselves way more often than not. They would be a different person.”
And it’s true. It works.
“People comment and say, ‘You believe in me more than anybody else in my life.’ And I don’t even know them. That’s how little belief they get from the people around them.”
Which leads to step #4.
4. CLEAN UP YOUR ENVIRONMENT
There are two types of people: the joyful and the miserable.
Both are infectious.
If you’re with miserable people, you’ll be miserable. And then it can become a trap. I’ve gotten stuck in it before. Then I’d start isolating.
I’d stay home. Not answer the phone. Ignore texts and emails.
Sometimes it’s hard to undo the effects of loneliness. That’s why these videos from Evan’s channel are so great.
Because it lets you face people without having to face them. It lets you build your strength in the comfort of your own home.
I can get the energy I need without the pressure.
There will ALWAYS be miserable people in the world.
I try to cut them out at quickly as possible. And replace them with people I love.
This is easier now that I’m 50, have my own place, my own rules. I don’t have to listen to parents or go to Thanksgiving with political debates.
I skip all of that.
But let’s say you’re reading this and realizing your boss is toxic or your wife or someone else in the family. Some miserable people are harder to escape than others.
Evan has a good solution.
He says, “It’s really hard to be on an island fighting the world. You need to shut down the negativity or at least limit access to it. And then in that void fill it with positivity… with the messages that you want to hear. If you wake up and you’re in a crappy environment and your family isn’t successful, and they’re telling you, ‘Go to school,’ or all the stuff that you might be fighting against, to know that Bill Gates thinks this other way and all these people that you look up to think this way, it can help fill that void.”
And he’s right.
I watch Evan’s videos almost every day. Probably since he started. And I keep going back because he keeps making new content.
Every day there’s a new idea, a new person. And it all connects back to his one word: “believe.”
5. DECIDE WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT
Evan’s going on tour soon.
So I asked, “Aren’t you afraid you’re not going to produce 20+ videos a week if you’re traveling around from city to city?”
“No, because I’ll film for myself,” he said. “Videos have to get done. If I was in the hospital, I’d film from my bed. I’d film in my bathrobe. Not having content is not an option.”
I’m the same way about writing.
It’s the first thing I do every day. And a lot of people write me saying, “I want to do X but I don’t have time.”
And usually, I’d say “wake up a little earlier” or “do it on your lunch break” or “outsource all the stuff you hate doing so you can focus on what you love.”
And I still recommend this. Because I’ve seen it work. But now I want to try something new.
I want to try Evan’s method (see #6).
6. CHUNK YOUR TIME
Multitasking in a day is very hard. Because your brain can’t switch and be at peak performance in five different ways in one day.
“Right, let me tell you two other things,” Evan said. “And one is going to blow your face off.”
“The first one is that when you’re in a mindset for a day, it’s easy to stay there.”
He gave me an example.
Let’s say you have to do a bunch of outreach. “I’m a natural introvert. So I have to get up and put my extrovert hat on.”
By chunking outreach all in one day, he can stay in the extrovert mindset. And even prep for it.
Plus he gets more done.
“If I have a call coming up, I’m not productive for the 15-30 minutes before.” But if he ONLY has calls, then he can hang up one and move to the next.
“I like to jam it all in,” he said. “I like staying in that one frame of mind for the whole day.”
This is how Evan chunks his time:
- Monday is Mentoring day.
- Tuesday is YouTube day
- Wednesday is Project day.
- Thursday is… I forget. Evan?
- Friday is CEO day.
Then the weekend:
Saturday is Family day.
“My wife loves food. And she loves surprises. So every Saturday I plan the day for her with surprises and a new food,” he said. “So it could also be going to a street festival or going for a hike somewhere. But I plan the day for Saturday. And it’s not shopping day. It’s not grocery day, not fixing the house day. It’s quality time.”
Sunday is Family Admin day. So that’s laundry, groceries, etc.
“That’s a happy, balanced life for me. Which other people might look at and judge and say, ‘That’s stupid or ridiculous.’ But it works for me. If you think about the person you want to be, your actions have to match your ambitions.”
Evan said he was going to blow my face off. I still have my face.
But I was impressed.
He’s at a place where he feels satisfied with life.
And the thing that he said was going to blow your face off… was this:
“I like to miss it. So Tuesday’s my YouTube day. I don’t touch it again until next Tuesday. So come Friday or Saturday, I’m like, ‘I miss Tuesday.’ And after Monday, I don’t want to talk to anybody because I’m done mentoring. But then come Thursday, I’m like, ‘I can’t wait until Monday.’ So everyday I’m looking forward to the day ahead.”
I feel less stupid about YouTube now.
But I also feel less stupid about a lot of other things: multitasking, planning, finding ways to be less stressed, getting rid of negativity, how to get self-belief. And more.
That’s why I like getting teachers.
Because every skill has micro-skills. And every person has micro-lessons.