In this article I interview YouTube content creator Evan Carmichael.
You might know Evan as the guy on YouTube with all of the Top 10 rules for Success videos. I’d wanted to speak to him for some time and I was curious as to the key lessons he’s learned from the 5, 000+ success videos he’s put out on people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Oprah.
In this article:
- Choosing the right career path/business in life
- Following your passion vs doing something that makes money
- Defining your USP (Unique Selling Point)
- His one word exercise
- How to build self-awareness
- Critics and haters – should you listen to them?
- How to deal with conflicting advice from successful people
- Mentors and Mastermind groups
- Success habits
- Success secrets
- Building strengths vs eliminating weaknesses
- How to get specific advice that isn’t generic and oversimplified
- Entrepreneurial mistakes
- And more…
Choosing the right career path
Michael: How does someone go about choosing the right career path, or the right business for them, especially if they have multiple competing interests? I know that for a lot of people, there’s not just a single thing they would like to do. I think for example, a lot of people might want to work in Silicon Valley and Wall Street and NASA and Hollywood etc.
Evan: I think it’s about having self-awareness around your core value, and finding out what your one word is, and applying that to every area of your business and your life. If you know what you stand for, if you know what kind of person you are, every decision becomes a lot easier. Then it comes down to executing against that. re: Figuring out what your purpose is, I believe that your purpose comes from your pain, I think that whatever you struggled with growing up, or even recently, you just want to make it easier for other people to not face the same struggles.
I love entrepreneurs so much because I struggled so much as an entrepreneur, and I want the road to be a little bit easier for other people who are trying to go down the same path that I did, that’s what really fuels me. And then in terms of the nitty-gritty execution, I’m a big believer in embracing the “and”. I think the way that you win is doing both, but not both separately, both together, and being the person to figure out how to do both together, so being the anomaly, the wildcard, the joker in the deck.
For me, I’m a weird bird, what I do is weird, I’m not just a DJ, I’m not just spinning content, I’m also sharing my own thoughts and opinions, it’s a hybrid, nobody’s really doing it like this, there’s no exact model to follow, but I’m embracing the and, I’m doing both, I’m doing the DJ and I’m doing the speaker and the thought leadership, being an author, and doing my own content as well, and that works, and so, what is the mix? What are the pieces of Investment Banking, and what are the pieces of Silicon Valley that you love, and how do you mix those together in a way that nobody has done it? That’s how ultimately you’re going to win.
The one word exercise
Michael: There is so much to unpack there. Let’s start with the one-word exercise, can you please talk us through that.
Evan: Well you ask a deep question, you’re going to get a deep answer. Your one word is about finding out your most important core value, I think that most people feel like they could be doing more with their life, like there’s another gear, but they don’t know how to access it, and for me it comes down to a lack of self-awareness around what your core value is, what you stand for as a human, and what’s the most important thing to you in life etc. and when you figure that out, it gives you 1) so much clarity over the actions you’ve taken in the past, and also going forward, so you know this is my path, I know what I’m all about, I know why I am here, and 2) it also allows you to bring people on-board, in your life and in your business, and for the entrepreneurs listening, to help you to bring your mission forward.
I think it’s really hard to live a great life, and I think if you’re going to be constantly worried about the opinions of others, I think if you’re going to be constantly second guessing yourself and judging your decisions based on what other people think, because you are not solid enough in your own beliefs… However, when you get rock solid on that, then people can’t move you from your top, they may disagree with you, that’s fine, they have their own opinions, awesome, but they’re not going to move you from what you’re doing because you’re so solid in it, and most people don’t have that because they don’t know what their core values is, so I think it’s one of the most important exercises you can ever do in life.
How to define your USP
Michael: I’ve heard so many people say “The riches are in the niches”. How do you go about defining your USP, your unique selling point?
Evan: It comes back to your one word. What’s your one word? What do you stand for? I attract people who like the believe, and an uplifting, positive message. If you don’t like believe and everything it stands for, you’re gonna hate me, I’ll be a poison to you, it’s just toxic. But it’s just all I spit, it’s at the core of everything I do, so that’s where you start, with your one word core value, then your purpose comes from your pain. What was your pain? How do you want to help people? By default you want to help people, everybody wants to help somebody, humans are built to serve. So what’s your pain? What did you struggle through? What’s the suffering that is happening in the world that you can’t stand is happening? There is so much suffering and pain in the world, it just depends on which one you are attached to, it’s something that you’ve experienced somehow.
So that’s the purpose that you have, and then the actual execution is going to come down to the work that you enjoy. So believe is mine, the suffering is me struggling as an entrepreneur and I want to make other entrepreneurs not struggle as much, the actual then how do I go about it, is going to be through making content, through marketing, through creating videos, through speaking, through helping one on one, this is the work that I like to do, and there’s a million other ways that you can do it, that’s the one that works for me, so that’s how I see the world, how it breaks down, you could start with the super tiny niche, and then build up, I think it’s a great way to do it, Facebook started just doing college campuses then built up, Uber started just in San Francisco and then built up.
How to build self-awareness
Michael: How does one go about building self-awareness, in addition to introspection and an understanding of one’s values?
Evan: I think surrounding yourself with tools, resources, ideas, and people that make you question things. Your parents, your grandparents, the people around you, are likely not great at self-awareness, I don’t think most people are, they don’t teach it, it’s not a skill that most people have picked up, and most people hate their life and are doing mediocre work that they shouldn’t be doing.
I think everyone has Michael Jordan level talent at something, but they have no idea what it is because they haven’t figured out the process. So find things that challenge you, that make you think, you know, listening to the Life Lessons podcast, if Michael makes you think, then how about you listen to Michael every episode, either him or his guests, and put a source into your regular life, that challenges you to jump out of the status quo, and forces introspection and self-awareness, because if it’s just you, you’re unlikely to do it, and I think if you just pick up one book you’ll be it while you’re reading the book, and it’s hard to live it without the on-going inspiration, so finding a source like a podcast or a YouTube channel or an author who has lots of books, something that on-going that is constantly waking you up to actually living the life you want.
I also think you need to spend more time with yourself and less time with other people to get self-awareness, I think if you read a book, or you get asked a question that forces introspection, then go to a Starbucks, or go for a walk in a park, or meditate in the forest, or whatever the thing is that allows you to go deep, and then you need to have confidence in your answers, not having someone else’s validation of the answers, especially when it’s people that you trust, because you’re more likely to take it, and I think that a lot of people are still in the dark. And for the one word exercise, I really recommend not talking to anybody else about it, until you’ve found it.
“Self-awareness is the ultimate unlock. What you say after ‘I AM’ is the most powerful force that shapes you. Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me. Your perception of me is a reflection of you. My reaction to you is an awareness of me.” – Evan Carmichael
Should you listen to your critics and haters?
Michael: Should you listen to your critics and haters? Is that a way to build self-awareness? Or are you likely to get more bad than good?
Evan: I believe that your hater makes you greater. One hundred percent. I don’t know how much it helps with your self-awareness though. I think haters can give you a sense of some of the things that you’re missing. A lot of people are afraid of haters and won’t hear criticism, and they get so sensitive that they don’t improve. I love that kind of stuff. I’m looking at feedback from my YouTube channel, we get hundreds of comments of feedback everyday, and I only want to see the negative ones. My team handles the positive ones, the ones that say “Hey Evan, great job, we love this video!” Awesome. I’m super appreciative, but if I had to pick which comments to look at, I want the criticisms, I want to know where I suck, and a lot of the hater comments, a lot of it is just their own projections, a lot of it there’s not a lot to learn from, they have an abusive father and so they see something on the YouTube channel and that’s what they get reminded of, and so they hate the video, it’s their own projection and that’s OK.
But a lot of times people will have some quality feedback for you, it’s just not delivered the way you want it to be delivered, and I think this is a super important point for people who want to learn and grow and get better: If you’re doing something of merit, of value, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re getting the message out there, people will hate you, people will be negative, but if you can only take feedback one way, if it has to be sugarcoated for you, like “Hey I really loved your speech, it’s so great, I love everything that you’re doing, but this one little kinda suggestion that I have…”, like super sugarcoated and nice, if that’s the only way you can take feedback, you’re going to lose. If someone is raging their face of at you, yelling slanders at you, but you could still listen to it, and maybe in there is still a kernel of truth, that you can apply to be a better speaker, a better father, a better coach, a better whatever, then if you can expand that universe of how you get feedback, you’re going to get so much better.
How do you know who to listen to?
Michael: Agreed. Two of my favorite quotes are:
“You must accept the truth from wherever it comes” – Maimonides
“Examine the statement – not the speaker”
One of the most difficult things I feel for a beginner, for a newbie, in entrepreneurship or personal development, is when you don’t know any better, you seek out the experts, the masters, the successful people, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc. but what happens when you’re getting conflicting advice, how do you know who to listen to, and who is right? Is there a way you can go about finding that out without going down both paths all the way?
Evan: So, I don’t like going down any path all the way until I’ve tested. So you test, you try, you say yes. A lot of times I’ve found and I’ve covered people from all walks of life, from entrepreneurs to athletes, musicians, politicians etc. a lot of times when it seems like they’re saying opposite advice, they’re not actually that far off, it’s just that you don’t understand the context a lot of times.
I did a video series that didn’t take off and was a huge failure, but I loved it, it was called the “and” series, and I looked at two people who looked like they were saying opposite things. 2pac would come on and say “humbleness is sexy, you gotta be humble, it’s great, it’s sexy”, and then we’d put on a Kanye West video right after where Kayne comes up and says, like “Don’t be humble, people tell you to be humble, you gotta be great, be amazing, be awesome”, and it sounds like they’re opposing views, but they’re not actually, it’s just different context, and taken in isolation it’s difficult to understand it. And so I’d say, do more work to understand the context, and understand that there are many ways to win, and this is what worked for them, but you gotta find the path that works best for you, and the best way that I’ve found honestly, is to stop thinking about it, and to find a small way to test it. Stop spending time thinking, and start spending more time doing.
I have a rule called the 5/95 rule: 5% of your time is spent planning, strategizing, and thinking, and 95% is spent doing. Most people have it flipped. They think, they think, they think, but you won’t get the answer sitting on your couch. You gotta go off and do. Planning and strategizing does not count as doing. So if you get an idea, if Michael tells you to do something on the podcast, go try it, stop telling yourself why it won’t work, stop asking your friends if it’s a good idea or not, you could have already tried it 20x in all the time you spent thinking about it, just break it down to the smallest possible way to get started. Don’t think about what the million dollar version looks like, just start in the smallest possible way. You think you want to get started on YouTube? Great. Make a video. Get your phone out and make a video. Just break it down to the easiest part.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Michael: You were successful before you started your YouTube channel Evan. What are some of the main things that you’ve learnt about success that you didn’t know before?
Evan: What I really learned through my channel was, changing your environment and being around successful people. I came from a super humble background, my parents are really humble, and will never promote themselves, or talk about themselves, being Canadian we’re always super nice and humble and it’s amazing, and I still have definitely that part of me, but along with the humbleness, is often a lack of confidence, and a lack of self-belief, and so I definitely had that. I never thought that I could have a big impact, I didn’t feel like I was deserving of what I had, I didn’t feel like I could reach entrepreneurs on the scale that I would like to, I didn’t feel like I could do it. But then by being around successful entrepreneurs so much (on Evan’s YouTube channel) it just slowly, slowly, slowly, improves your confidence and your belief. My channel is all about believe, that’s my one word, and so it builds belief by watching it.
I had a moment where I was in the car with my Dad and I just closed a deal with Sage, and I was shocked, and every month with this company I’d be on a live interview on my YouTube channel with the CEO, this guy runs a multi-billion dollar company, he has 15, 000 employees, and my Dad turns to me and he says “How do you have the confidence to be on a show with him as an equal, where you’re both answering questions from your entrepreneur audience?” And he asked it in a way of not “Who are you to be with him?” but just out of awe, like “WOW! Where did this come from?!” And I’m thinking, I hang out with Oprah, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs every day, this is nothing. And I genuinely believed it, whereas me 7 years ago would have been “Oh my God, I can’t believe there’s this thing, who am I to…”, so I didn’t even realize that shift had occurred, just because, being around these entrepreneurs, and how big they think shifted my ability to think bigger, and it gave me more self-confidence too.
Do you need mentors and mastermind groups?
Michael: Are inspirational and motivational videos enough? Or do you recommend that people listening seek out mentors and mastermind groups?
Evan: I think that’s a question of self-awareness. I think that’s about knowing yourself. For me, I leverage heavily on the aspirational mentors, that’s what I call them. I feel like for me it’s enough. I feel like for me it’s more than enough. I love it. I think it’s great. I’m learning every day from the content I’m putting out, the mentors I’m learning from, but it may not be enough for you, like maybe you need to have somebody face to face with you, and maybe it’s even worth it, learning from an entrepreneur who hasn’t had as much success, but can get you part of the way vs learning from an Elon Musk online who you can’t go and do an internship for, and his ideas, and his thought process is too high-level for you.
So I think both methods can work, I think traditionally it’s been about the face to face mentorship, and that definitely works, there’s definitely a model for that, I’m trying to bring awareness to the aspirational side because I’ve seen it work for me and it’s also accessible to everybody. I think too many people use mentors as an excuse. “Well it’s easy for you because you have a Dad who did this, or a rich uncle who did that, you don’t know my situation, I’m here, and no one in my family has ever had any kind of success.” Great. You can learn online. You can learn from these people just like I have. So, if you don’t have anybody you want to reach out to, or that you know who would answer your call, there’s still a solution.
Lies and Myths in the world of self-help
Michael: What do you feel are some of the biggest lies and myths promoted in the world of personal development and self-help?
Evan: I don’t know that I would go so far as to say lies and myths that are promoted. I think that everybody who is in it for the most part has good intentions. I think some of the things that come to mind for me is the importance of repetition. We’re stubborn creatures. People are stubborn. To change a habit you might get it quickly, but it might take you a long time. We started a new series on my channel called 254, where every day for 254 days, I send you a video on a topic, because that’s how long it can take for people. It takes an average of 66 days to build a habit, you can learn it in as quick as 18 I think, and the max is 254. Most people don’t have the patience to wait even 66 days. And so they want it now, and it’s great, the ambition is amazing, but the problem is people give up too soon, they give up too quickly, and so I think patience and exposure is super, super, super important. Like pick one thing that you want to change, that would be really meaningful, instead of trying to tackle 18 at the same time, and just have patience that this might take you over 200 days to form this habit, but it’s totally worth it.
The other thing along those lines I would say is, I have a thing called flex the X, where everyday, I basically take out the calendar for the year, of the things you want to accomplish, and every day you X it off, you’re flexing the X, and there’s definitely something to be said for momentum, you don’t want to break it, you got that X yesterday you want to keep the X going today and tomorrow and tomorrow.
And then, I think the importance of building in acceptance of yourself for not waking up everyday and just expecting to be great, like everybody, even high achievers don’t wake up and say I’m amazing, my life is amazing, this day is going to crush it. No. People wake up, I wake up, just like everybody else, I’m tired, I have crust in my eyes, whatever, and the difference is not how they wake up, it’s the habits that they do afterwards, how do you start your day? How do you set yourself up for success for that day?
And so don’t expect to wake up and have everything fall into place. Like you might listen to this podcast and feel on fire, and be ready to change your life, and the next day you will wake up and all that energy and momentum will likely be gone, and that’s OK, that’s normal, you’re not a failure, that’s almost everybody, the difference is successful people get back into that mindset quickly, and they develop habits, routines and environments that make sure that that happens. So that’s all that you’re missing. It’s not that you suck as a human, you’re just missing the habits that get you there quickly on a daily basis.
The most important success habits
Michael: What do you feel are some of the most important success habits?
Evan: I think getting up and doing something every day that really matters. I think having the consistency to follow through. If you look at anybody who you look up to and respect, they get up and do it everyday and they get better. My YouTube channel, I’ve done six thousand videos, one thousand aren’t even public, and that’s how you get get better at something by doing it one thousand times. I think you have to do something that you enjoy the process of, and then tie your identity to the process of getting better at something, not to the result. I think that people who are not successful quit too soon because they expect the results to come, but successful people they flip it, they have patience for the results, and impatience for themselves, where most people are the opposite. Most people have patience for themselves, “yeah I’ll do that tomorrow, yeah I’ll get to that later”, so they have super patience for themselves, but impatience for the results, where you have to flip it, where you have to be really hard on yourself, in a forward direction, like you’re kicking yourself forward not down to do the work, and being patient and knowing that the results will come if every day you’re waking up and going after it.
Persistence vs wasting time
Michael: Patience and persistence is important I agree, but how do you know if you’re doing the right thing? Results can take time, it can take years to get a significant result, to achieve the result that you’re wanting to achieve, but as Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” How do you know if you need to change strategies, or if you just need to put more time in? Where do you draw the line?
Evan: Yeah so there’s no magic number, like you have to do it 8 times, and then you get success, I think what it comes down to is feeling like you’re making progress. Feeling like you’re getting better. Feeling like things are improving. So if I use the example of starting a YouTube channel, are you putting in the work? Are you getting better? If you’re making one video a month, don’t expect amazing results ever, because you’re just not putting in enough work. A lot of people, that’s the problem, it’s not a problem with your idea, it’s not a problem with the market, it’s just that you’re just not doing enough, you have to be upping the quantity of your effort. The problem is your effort.
If you’re putting in the effort everyday, great. Now we have to look at how that effort is translating. So if I’m looking at my YouTube videos, am I getting better? If I look back on my videos from 3 months ago, am I getting better? Did I improve? Did I grow? Did I like the video better than I did 3 months ago? Are my skills increasing? Can I do the same thing faster? If you’re learning a technical skill like how to play the piano, can you play that piece of music faster with more memorization and less looking at the notes? Are you better at the skill? And some of the time it’s hard because it’s all behind the scenes, you’re programming, you’re developing, you’re creating a product, you haven’t released anything to the market yet, but if you have anything that’s public facing, are you getting any kind of traction, are you getting any kind of momentum? If you’re getting 10 views on a video, does it grow to 20, does it grow to 30, it may not be the pace that you want, but if you’re 3 years in, and you’re doing the work, you’re making consistent videos, and you’re still getting 30 views per video like you were 3 years ago, then somethings probably wrong.
Building strengths vs eliminating weaknesses
Michael: What are your thoughts on building your strengths vs eliminating weaknesses? Gary Vaynerchuk says “Bet on your strengths and don’t give a fuck what you suck at”. What are your thoughts on that? Building strengths vs getting rid of your weaknesses?
Evan: I don’t look at strengths in terms of a skillset because I think you can learn anything. It really comes down to your desire. So when I first started making videos, I did everything. I don’t believe you should be spending money until you’re making money. So I didn’t hire anybody. I did everything myself. I also wanted to learn it. I wanted to know enough to be dangerous if I have to do it myself. I quickly learned that I sucked at everything. I sucked at everything. I sucked at editing. I sucked at the research. I sucked at being on camera especially. I sucked at everything. And the thing I sucked the worst at, the hardest at, was being in front of the camera. That was the worst. The thing that I do the most now, I was the worst at. It comes down to desire and ambition. What I gave up first was editing, I was better editing behind the camera than I was in front of the camera. But I wanted to get better at being in front of the camera, and so I did. Any skillset you can learn if you have desire and ambition. It’s just knowledge. It’s just practice. It’s just repetition. And the thing that keeps you going through it, is because you want to get better at it. If you don’t love it, then you should quit, and you should move on to something else. What you want to avoid doing is trying to be well rounded at everything, because then you don’t provide enough value at anything. So that’s the point that I agree with Gary and others on. It’s just that sometimes people see something as a weakness, but it’s just a skillset that is teachable, that is learnable, and if you want to get better at it, you probably can, and that might be where you need to go.
Evan’s best non-cliché advice
Michael: Through your channel, I’ve gained so much value, you deliver an insane, a ridiculous amount of value, I can’t think of anyone who gives more value than you do Evan. What’s some of the best advice that you’ve heard on your channel that isn’t cliché that most people probably don’t know?
Evan: I think of Quincy Jones who says “Not one ounce of my self-worth comes from your opinion of me”, and that really made me think, like how much of my self-worth is tied up in what other people think of me? How much am I afraid of doing things because of a reaction? and it really lead me down a course of trying to inoculate myself against judgement, and there’s a few steps that I followed with that, but basically, if I’m worried about what you think of me, then I have to go do that thing, otherwise it reinforces and doubles down on the negative behavior, so “not one ounce of my self-worth depends on your opinion of me” – Quincy Jones
Another one that comes to mind is Jerry Seinfeld, who talked about doing the work you love is the torture that you can endure, where normally when people talk about doing the work they talk about it from a passion, from a happy, amazing place. He’s talking about it as torture, and I thought it was really interesting, because I bet if I jumped into your schedule right now, and I was doing your blog and your podcast and everything else that you do, I would find it torturous, like I might quit after one day, and I know a lot of people in my audience if they had to jump into my schedule they would find it torturous. Making 3 videos a day is ridiculous. But I like it. It’s the torture that I can endure. I built it and designed it for myself. So it’s just a really different take on find your passion.
And then if I had to give a 3rd one, I think of the Rock, and he was doing an interview and someone asked him: “What does your routine look like? What does balance look like for you?” He said for me I need to work out. When I’m on set doing a movie I need to hit the gym for 3-4 hours before I go to the movies to shoot. So he’s up and he’s getting 5 hours of sleep a night when he’s filming movies and that’s balance to him. To me that sounds ridiculous. I would choose sleep over working out for 3 hours. But that’s great. It’s balance to him.
How to get specific advice
Michael: Evan, I find a lot of personal development advice to be good, but too often generic and oversimplified. So whilst it’s a good pointer in the right direction, it isn’t necessarily specific enough to help you. For example “Follow your dreams!” What do you feel is the best way to get specific advice?
Evan: I think whoever is asking that question needs to take personal accountability for how they learn, and for creating their own university. Like I created the university of Evan. I don’t expect anybody to give it to me exactly how I need it. It’s my responsibility to do that diving, the context giving, and to understand how this can apply to my life. Someone like Elon Musk is one of the reasons why I started my channel, because he’s so bad a communicating, you have to watch 4 hours of footage just to get 15 minutes of really great content a lot of the time, but that it’s not the business that he’s in, he’s not in the personal development business, but there’s a lot you can learn from him.
So I need to create my own university, and my own university is my YouTube channel and everyone who watches and subscribes you’re on my journey with me, and thankfully you’re learning too, otherwise it would be a very expensive hobby of mine. So can speakers do a better job? Absolutely. Are their opportunities? Absolutely. Why does my channel even exist? Because a lot of these people can’t do a great job of explaining it themselves, so you need DJ’s, you need DJ’s to discover new talent. You need DJ’s to mix the content together, that’s what I do. And that’s a great opportunity for other people who find that confusion exists. Give me your take on it. But at the end of the day it’s your responsibility. This is how I learn. This is what I need. And then you dive deeper to figure out what are the specifics by watching them, by understanding their story.
Following your passion vs doing something that makes money
Michael: I want to come back to following your passion or choosing your path in life, there seems to be a lot of people doing things they don’t want to do for money, and then you’ve got a lot of broke and struggling artists. Where do you draw the line between following your passion and doing something that makes money, where is the intersection?
Evan: Well you gotta find the match between what you love doing and what there’s a market for. If you just love making art, but nobody else in the world likes it, then you have a hobby, and you’re at home drawing, painting, singing, or whatever. I think though if you’re actually got some talent, there is so much more market now than ever before. I’ll give you into some weird crazy example: If you only like drawing Thundercats, or if you only love drawing Starbucks cups, there’s more of a market for that than ever before if you just get it out there. I think we are embracing our weirdness more, we’re not just trying to congeal together, we’re breaking off and that’s OK, and we’re showing our weirdness and that’s being celebrated, and it’s never been easier to find other weird people like you, who appreciate your weirdness, where your parents and your family and other people around you may not, so if you love drawing Thundercat cartoons you know that there’s a market for that, people will pay you for that.
If you do the work of treating your art like a business, whether you become the entrepreneur, CEO, or you partner with the person who loves doing the business side of it, I think every business demands a CEO to grow, every business needs to have someone who is the CEO, if you don’t want to do that, but you have an awareness that that’s not a skillset that you want to build, anybody can build it, but you may not want to, great, but if you want to grow it though you need to have somebody that is going to take on that role, just like you need someone who’s going to create. So I think if you have passion for something, and you develop enough skill to add to it to be good, even if it’s super niche, I think if you’re good you can make some money of it and make some money out of it. Will you become a multi-millionaire? Maybe not, but you could quit your job and build something that you’re really proud of doing.
In terms of doing things for money, I think people make short term desperate moves for money, and it actually hurts their ability to build something real. I think for example, if I was desperate for money and I go on my YouTube channel, and I just pitch stuff for the next two weeks, I make money I might hit my goal of whatever need to hit, but I’ll lose a huge chunk of my audience cause I’m not bringing the value they signed up for, and so it’s actually detrimental to me achieving the outcome that I want, and actually generating real wealth, so I think it’s great to be hungry, but it’s not great to be desperate, and I think a lot of people are just too desperate, and they end up sacrificing forever the success of the business, because they’re just chasing after the money. If money is the only reason to do something, you’re going to lose.
Common mistakes that beginner entrepreneurs make
Michael: What are some of the most common mistakes you see beginner entrepreneurs making?
Evan: First I think entrepreneurs get into the business for the wrong reasons. They get in because they see an opportunity as a chance to make a quick buck, and often it’s real, you can make a quick buck, you just take advantage of an arbitrage situation and you can make a quick buck. The problem is that arbitrage window will close and then you’re just jumping from one arbitrage to the next to the next to the next, and you’re constantly having to look for that. Some people, a tiny percent will win that way, but most people will just lose flat out, so getting into a business just because you’re trying to look for an opportunity is not the reason to do it, you have to actually love the work, I think that’s a huge chunk of entrepreneurs.
Then I think the second thing I would say, is just it’s how long you think it’s going to take, just flipping the patience/impatience thing we talked about before, not expecting immediate results, but expecting an insane amount of work from yourself everyday to make it happen.
That was my interview with super-successful and all-round great guy YouTube content creator Evan Carmichael.
I hope you enjoyed it.
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About Evan: At 19, Evan built then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a VC helping raise $500k to $15mil. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com a popular website for entrepreneurs. He breathes and bleeds entrepreneurship and aims to help 1 billion entrepreneurs, to change the world, and to unlock human potential. Evan has set 2 world records and speaks globally, but Toronto is his home. He loves being married, his son, salsa dancing, DJing, League of Legends, and the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the author of Your One Word the powerful secret to building a life and business that matter and The Top 10 Rules for Success