Yesterday's video "The End Of An Era" where I explained how and why I'm changing my relationship with YouTube is getting incredible feedback.
If you missed it, watch the video by clicking that link above, now.
It is also on my podcast feed at this point thanks to my amazing VA...
So you can listen through your podcast app, too... Because you have subscribed and left a review of my podcast feed, right?
But this feeling of "graduating" from the rookie class of YouTube after five years of hard work has got me thinking a lot.
One interesting idea that has been bouncing around my head this morning is about the "value" I received from my college experience vs this YouTube experiment.
Obviously there are drastic differences between the two...
But let's play with the numbers, because I'm a data geek...
First, let's look at the time invested.
My college career spanned the course of six years...
I dropped out twice on the journey through college. Came VERY close to not even completing it.
In total, I ended up going to four different colleges and when I was complete I had two degrees...
An Associates degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting From Chabot community college in Hayward California.
A Bachelors degree in University Studies from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
I got into a program at the University of New Mexico that allowed me to choose courses from several disciplines and build my own degree program.
I think it was the: "Miles, you've been here long enough, here's your piece of paper" degree.
When it was all said and done I had over $50,000 in student loan debt to my name and I had no clue how I was going to make money to pay that back.
In my university studies program I attempted to study entrepreneurship at the business school but I instantly realized the teachers there had no clue what they were talking about.
They actually invited me to partner on their business idea which was codeword for:
"Miles, you seem ambitious… Build my idea for me"
So I decided to start 'building businesses' from the dorms...
Because I realize quickly that I was not going to learn how to earn a living from college...
And I was racking up debt semester after semester.
This was a big part of why I took the easy path with the University studies degree... it allowed me free time in the nights and weekends.
So I self-taught "zero money down" real estate investing and I began flipping houses on the side...
I also started a T-shirt company and was selling T-shirts out of a backpack at parties.
This was long before print on demand, so I invested a couple thousand dollars of student loan money into T-shirt inventory... LOL.
I promptly lost $60,000 on the last real estate deal gone bad during the global financial crisis...
I had hundreds of T-shirts that I ended up giving away or selling at cost.
And of course, I had racked up 50,000 in student loan debt...
Now we compare this to YouTube.
Again, let's start with the numbers...
Total time invested in YouTube under 5 years.
Total videos published just under 700... That's just about 3 videos/ week for the entire duration.
Considering I kept my "full-time job" during this whole YouTube experiment, I actually think it took less time and energy than the college path.
There was no structure, there is no required accountability and it left me 100% on my own to have/build the discipline required to keep showing up.
But discipline is something I learned in the old world growing up as a kid playing in the cul-de-sac.
Okay, back to the YouTube numbers.
Total views: 9.8 million
Total time watched: 1.2 million hours...
That is 136 years of human life spent watching my videos!?!
Total revenue to date = over 1 million
Total residual cashflow ~ 50,000 per month.
Now, I don't know if this is an unfair comparison or not... Because this is clearly an apples to oranges type of a situation...
And for some professions a college degree is required… Lawyers, doctors, etc..
But think about this...
There is no application for me to fill out to get onto YouTube.
There was no MCAT or LSAT test required
There were no expensive books or school supplies required.
I took the phone I had in my pocket and I started sharing my ideas with all ZERO of my subscribers.
I decided to choose myself...
No admissions board there to give me a thumbs up or thumbs down.
I made the decision participate in the creator economy and to focus all my intention on helping others.
I made a commitment to showing up relentlessly for five years from day one.
And now after it's done instead of a heap of debt I have heaps of cash flow.
I also have a brand, a channel, a website and an email list that are worth at least 35x the monthly cashflow...
And I built it with the same kind of brute force energy (and a lot less money invested) than it took to get my degree
I can't stop thinking about how crazy the different outcomes are from five years of effort in both directions.
Being born in the 80s, I've been blessed to live in both worlds...
I grew up in the world before computers, video games and cell phones...
When we spent every waking minute outside with neighbor kids playing hide and seek, BMX bikes, foursquare and other shenanigans.
Neighbors and family members relied on each other for recommendations about everything...
If you wanted to learn something, you either jumped into an encyclopedia or you went to the library.
The Yellow Pages and their alphabetical listings of companies made names like "AAA 1 Best Plumbing" valuable...
Because the 'algorithm' was alphabetical.
I will call that the old world where "getting a college degree and a great job" meant something.
I followed that path...
I drank the Kool-Aid and BELIEVED it would lead me to a better life.
At the end of that journey with 2 degrees and no clue how to make income for myself... I realized I got duped.
I realize I had to figure out how to create the cash flow I wanted to for the life I desired, on my own.
Then there's the second world...
This is the digital first world.
Where friends hang out on group chat through games like fortnight or PubG.
Where people no longer ask their neighbors for recommendations.
Where people no longer go to the library to learn things.
Where independent creators can choose to build audiences, trust and real businesses through hard work & perseverance.
Where the quality of your production is less important than the utility value of the information you publish.
Where every user online has a million options for every search...
Here's what I believe has happened...
The old guards and mechanisms of control from the OLD society that has controlled everything for thousands of years is breaking down.
And this is one of the greatest revolutions in human history.
No longer do we have to ask for permission from administrators...
No longer do we have to put in our application and hope we get chosen for the spot.
No longer are we limited in our earning potential based on what they are willing to pay.
Finally, the individuals who choose themselves and who step up and do the work are in control.
There's even a new financial system being built in this digital first world that further removes the controls from the hands of the greedy oligarchs.
I've lived in both worlds.
I played full on in both worlds.
I've earned my right to talk smack about the broken system because I went through that system...
And then I built on the new emergent system.
Which is why I can tell you with 100% certainty that this New World opens doors for you that were welded shut just a couple decades ago.
But you still have to choose yourself.
You still have to make the commitment to build the skills.
You still have to put in the time and energy to pay your dues over the course of five years to grow your audience and to get the momentum you need to succeed within this new system.
You can do it.
But you must start.
And you must persevere relentlessly for years on end...
Or else, you're committing yourself to a life playing in the old system which has structures of control designed to hold you back (and riddle you with debt) at every turn.
It is my honest opinion that this is what I actually just proved with my YouTube experiment.
Some people think about making a YouTube video or two.
From day one my plan has been to publish as many YouTube videos as I could in five years.
Because I knew a secret before I started.
I knew that most people underestimate what they could do in five years.
I wanted to prove what was possible with my actions.
I wanted to prove that this "New World" is open and available to anyone who steps up.
And I chose to do it all in public.
So now my YouTube channel lives on as a legacy that both explains all of the action steps and tactics...
But more importantly, it stands as a testament to what is possible.
At heart I'm just a kid who wants to play outside and ride BMX bikes all day long.
I did not come to this planet to GRIND at my computer 12 hours per day forever...
Just long enough to build the business, the brand and cashflow needed to float me for life.
Which is what I encourage you to do as well.
What is your next step?
If you missed that last video, I urge you to watch it now:
If you already watched that video...
Share it with someone you know who is on this path.
Share it on social or in a group where you know there are folks dealing with the challenges that we face as entrepreneurs.
Email it to your list if you have an audience in the marketing or entrepreneurship space.
Folks need this kind of a message...
It comes from the heart and it's a message that needs to get out.
Which means I need your help spreading this message.
And there, my friend, is the big ask.
Help me help more people while you blaze forward helping yourself and your family create the life you love.
You can do it...
Miles “Filled With Gratitude” Beckler