Finding Inspiration in Dubai


Hey friends,

Sorry for sending this newsletter on a Monday – I just came back from Dubai, where I spent the past few days as a speaker for the Nas Summit, an international conference for creators.

It was fantastic meeting creators of all sizes, from the beginner “I’ve been thinking of starting YouTube for years but never done it and I’m hoping this conference is the push I’ve needed” all the way through to creators from the US, Europe, India and Africa with millions of subscribers and tens of millions of views a month.

My big takeaway was this: Talking to real people is amazing. 🥰

So many people came up to me saying “I watch all your videos” or “your videos gave me the push to start a YouTube channel a year ago”. One even said “I decided to drop out of medical school after watching your content 👀”.

Maybe that last one isn’t a good thing, but speaking to real-life “fans” immediately recharged my motivation around creating YouTube videos. Honestly, I’d been in a bit of a dip with it, with a part of me thinking “what’s the point of keeping this up” and “is this really what I want to do with my life”. But seeing the response from IRL people has made the impact feel much more tangible.

There were even some people who said “I love how on your channel you talk about a load of different unrelated topics, rather than just focusing on one thing” – this has been great to hear, because when I focus too much on the numbers, I always think “huh maybe I should make only finance content” or “huh maybe I should just focus on productivity stuff”.

But now I’ve seen the effect that varied content can have on real people. And it’s made me shift more towards “huh I guess I can just ignore the numbers because what matters is the real people who enjoy these videos, and as long as they and I continue to enjoy them, I’ll continue making them”.

I guess the moral here applies to all creators – you get amazing qualitative data if you just talk to your audience. If you’re a creator and you’re struggling, for example, to figure out how to monetise your business, you can hop on a Zoom call with some of your audience and ask them what their issues are, and what they’d like to see from you.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

♥️ My Favourite Things

📚 Book Summary – Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. The Shortform summary for this book is pretty great. I’ve read through it a few times to get a proper idea of what Taleb’s all about; Nat Eliason has been recommending his books for years now, but I haven’t got round to properly reading them.

🎧 Headphones – Sony WH-1000XM4. My new daily driver noise-cancelling headphones. They’re sort of the perfect balance of comfort+sound quality+noise cancelling. Switching from my trust Bose 700s after doing this ANC headphones review.

🎬 YouTube Video – Putin Will Lose, Here’s Why by Johnny Harris. Damn. This guy has sick presenting skills. And the way he works in maps and infographics is pretty smooth.

✍️ Quote of the Week

The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. – Lily Tomlin

From Reclaiming Control by Amy McMillen. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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