The Success Strategy Everyone Ignores

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Hey friends,

Yesterday, I had the immense pleasure of having lunch with a gentleman named Ankur Warikoo, an entrepreneur, author and creator from India who was visiting London for a couple of days. It was the first time Ankur and I were meeting in-person, and incidentally, he’s one of the most successful alumni of my Part-Time YouTuber Academy, with 10m+ followers across his various social media platforms, and a multi 7-figure business underneath it. Ankur is in his early 40s, and spent his career building, scaling and selling businesses (including Groupon India), before turning his attention to the “creator” world.

And man, what a conversation it was. I ended up taking around 20 pages of handwritten notes in my pocket notebook – work-related: business operations, strategy, processes, Asana, team management, hiring, onboarding; and also life-related: marriage, working with a spouse, how to not spoil your kids, dealing with fame, security, and so much more.

In this email, I wanted to share one key message that really stuck out to me throughout the conversation:

The success strategy that everyone ignores is “Last Man Standing”.

Everything in business and in life benefits from compounding over the long-term. The most successful businesses are often those that managed to stay in the game longer than others. Similarly, with YouTubers (and other creators), simply staying in the game longer than others is a totally viable strategy. YouTubers come and go… but if you can be the one sticking to your niche for the long-term, doing sensible things along the way to tweak your course as market conditions changes, and just keep going, it’s hard to imagine a world where you don’t succeed.

The problem is that almost no one actually sticks it out long enough to really experience true compounding gains.

The thing is – we all know this is true. We’ve heard enough times about the power of consistency, of sticking to it, of compounding returns over the long-term. The problem is that we don’t execute on it. Especially if things aren’t “working” initially, we don’t have enough faith that something good will happen if we stick it out, and we don’t have enough patience to actually stick it out.

Case in point – in the final live cohort of my Part-Time YouTuber Academy, over 1,000 students paid $2,000+ to take the course live over the course of 6 weeks. During the course, we asked students to submit 6 video “homework” assignments where they’d create a video, and submit it to our team for feedback. Guess how many students submitted the very first video? Less than half. And guess how many students submitted all 6? Less than 10%. In a group of 1,000+ adults paying $2k for a course, you’d have been in the top 10% by just not quitting for 6 weeks.

You see similar stats in the podcasting world. Apparently, 90% of podcasts don’t make it past episode 3. And 99% don’t make it past episode 20. To be in the top 1% of podcasters globally, you just need to make 21 episodes. That’s it.

The chat with Ankur really drove this point home for me too. He mentioned how during the pandemic, a bunch of other YouTubers and Instrammers sprung up, making similar content to his in the worlds of personal development and personal finance. People would ask Ankur in interviews: “Hey aren’t you worried about all these new creators on the scene?”. He’d say: “Nope. 99% of them are going to quit before they see any traction. And even if they don’t, I don’t really care about what they’re doing. I’m just here, running my own race, doing my own thing, and I’m planning to do it forever”. Easy.

It’s been the same with my channel. During the pandemic especially, hundreds (if not thousands) of other channels sprung up in the “productivity” and “entrepreneurship” worlds. Loads of people started doing videos reviewing non-fiction self-help books, making videos about how to make passive income, sharing life lessons they’d learned, teaching students how to study for exams etc. How many of them are still consistently making videos 4 years later? Basically zero.

I’m not knocking them. Doing YouTube videos consistently is hard. Doing *anything * consistently is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

But the fact that it’s hard is quite reassuring. I’ve been feeling the strain of making videos every week for 7 years, especially for the first 2-3 while I had a full-time job and no team members. And even beyond that point, every week has felt like a bit of a “struggle” to make high-quality videos consistently. I put “struggle” in quotes because obviously, I’ve found ways to make it fun (a la Feel-Good Productivity 😉) and also found ways to systemise and scale the process so it’s less of a heavy lift each time, preferably without optimising the fun out of it (I teach these systems and processes in my Part-Time YouTuber Academy 😉). And now I’ve built a world-class team of experts who help with every aspect of the channel and business (and you can access their expertise by joining our Part-Time YouTuber Accelerator 😜), and working with them everyday is super fun too.

But despite all this, every video has required a little something called “work”. And the work that I need to put in to make videos consistently, is the same work that everyone else has to make if they want to “compete” with me. Again, I put “compete” in quotes because YouTube isn’t really a competition, and I don’t consider other channels in the same niche my “competitors”, but you get the idea.

By consistently showing up and doing the work, and marching forwards with our heads down, both Ankur and I have built businesses that allow us to do work that’s meaningful and enjoyable, share our knowledge and learnings with millions of people, and make ludicrous amounts of money doing it. And neither of us have any intention of quitting anytime soon.

In business, most of the enterprise value of the business is generated 10+ years after its founding. And yet most new entrepreneurs are so concerned about short-term growth that they risk burning out along the way.

The success strategy that everyone ignores is “Last Man Standing”.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

🔁 Circle

Building a community through my YouTube channel has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s amazing to have a huge group of people who can share ideas with each other and lift one another up.

That’s why I’m such a big fan of Circle – a platform that I’ve been using for the past 4 years.

Circle’s an app which lets you build your community, host events, create courses, and post content all in one place; all under your own brand. It means you no longer need to pull together a community with a complex tech stack, it can all be housed under one roof on an all-in-one community builder.

I’ve used Circle for the community for my course, the Part-Time YouTuber Academy, since 2020 and earlier this year, I decided to double down on the platform by hosting my (upcoming 👀) Productivity Community on Circle too.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro in the creator space, Circle has the tools you need to create an amazing streamlined community so that you can invest your time and effort where it matters most.

Check them out here.

Thanks to Circle for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets 🙏

✍️ Quote of the Week

“What did you want to do when you were a child, before anybody told you what you were supposed to do? What was it you wanted to become? What did you want to do more than anything else?”

From Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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