Should You Be a Full-Time Creator?


Hey friends,

Someone recently asked me “Ali, would you recommend pursuing ‘creating’ as a full-time career, from scratch?”

To which my answer is “hell no.”

It’s insanely hard to make a full-time income as a creator, especially now that everyone and their grandmother is starting a Substack or YouTube channel. The people who actually succeed as creators generally do two things:

a) They start by building their blog or channel in their spare time. Then, once they have proof that people are interested (eg: a growing subscriber count, comments, revenue), they invest more time and energy.

b) They’ve already done something interesting with their life, that they can talk or write about. They’re not a 16 year-old sat in their bedroom trying to be a life guru. For example:

  • Medical Student → channel about medicine and productivity
  • Coder → channel about being a better coder
  • Entrepreneur → channel about building businesses + making money
  • Scientist → channel about quirky scientific experiments.

If you just vlog your life like Emma Chamberlain, your chances of success are way lower because you have no competitive advantage (unless you’re extremely charismatic, but even then it’s tricky). Same goes for streaming – only a tiny fraction of the millions of Twitch and YouTube Live streamers will ever make meaningful money.

That said, I absolutely recommend doing some creating on the side. Even if you never make any money – I guarantee your life will change in ways you can’t imagine.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

📖 Shortform Summary

I just read a summary of Black Swan by Nassim Taleb on Shortform – it’s a classic book, but I still haven’t decided if I’ll read cover-to-cover.

Here’s part of the Shortform introduction (which they follow up with a chapter-by-chapter breakdown):

The Black Swan is the second book in former options trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s five volume series on uncertainty. This book analyzes so-called “Black Swans” – extremely unpredictable events that have massive impacts on human society. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1987 stock market crash, the creation of the Internet, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis-all are Black Swans.

Once Taleb introduces the concept of the Black Swan, he delves into human society and psychology, analyzing why modern civilization invites wild randomness and why humans can neither accept nor control that randomness.

I highly recommend Shortform for getting the key ideas from a book, or if you want to test drive books before reading them cover-to-cover.

If you want to sign up, use my link for a free trial and 20% off.

♥️ My Favourite Things

🎙️ Deep Dive Podcast – 7 Lessons I’m Taking Into 2023 – Season 4 Wrapped. In this episode I look back at some of the key lessons I’ve learned from this season, including from conversations with Tara Swart, Alex Hormozi, Russell Foster, Caspar Lee, Timothy Armoo, Matthew Hussey and Lana Blakely.

📚 Book – The Relationship Handbook by George S. Pransky. Makes a really interesting case that insecurity is the root cause of most relationship problems, and some controversial takes on how emotion and feelings shouldn’t be taken seriously when it comes to relationships and life.

📱 App – Speedsums. My brother Taimur built this fun web app back in 2015. It gives you 30 seconds to do as many mental arithmetic sums as you can, before saying where you rank against other users. Taim wrote an analysis of his findings here.

📚 Book – The Four-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. I’m trying to upgrade my cooking skills… but this is more than a cookbook. It’s Tim’s guide to becoming a great “meta-learner” – someone who can learn anything quickly and efficiently. My plan for the next couple of months is to go through all 12 recipes in the book, and use those as a guide to learning the basics of cooking.

🎬 My New Videos

🤑 How Much Money I Earned as a YouTuber in 2022 – A behind-the-scenes of my YouTube channel + various businesses, to show how much money we’ve made in 2022. Please do take the trigger warning at the start into account and please also understand that this is not an overnight success story, and there’s no (legit) way to make money online without large amounts of work, luck and unfair advantages, of which I’ve had plenty.

✍️ Quote of the Week

Many marriage counselors say the past—its unexpressed emotions and habit patterns—and poor communication are the “bad guys” that cause mental and relationship distress. These are the symptoms of relationship distress, not the cause. The cause, the real bad guy, is insecurity. Painful memories, negative emotions, habit patterns and bad communication are all symptoms of insecurity.

From The Relationship Handbook by George S. Pransky. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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Want to learn more from me? Check out my online video courses 👇

🚀 Productivity Masterclass

→ Do more of what matters to you, in a fun and sustainable way

(Free on Skillshare)

📹 YouTube for Beginners

→ The ultimate guide to starting your channel from scratch

(Free on Skillshare)

📚 How to Study for Exams

→ The ultimate evidence-based guide for students

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