How many subscribers do you have?
How many views do you have?
What is your watch time?
How much money do you earn from YouTube?
These are all the wrong questions asked by creators and non-creators alike.
Yet, new YouTube creators care about these metrics. So much so that some creators are willing to go the extra mile of paying for likes, dislikes, subscribers and views.
More on this stupid short-sighted behaviour later.
Who Am I?
I’m a fitness lifestyle (& adventure) vlogger new to the YouTube scene, having vlogged daily for 11.5 months. And for those dying to know my “metrics”… I’ve amassed 823 subscribers and earned a grand total of $30.45 USD (before tax.)
People often don’t believe me that after the insane amount of hard work that has gone into producing over 330 videos and uploading every……day.
My earnings — a measly $30 USD — just does not seem aligned with the amount of work I’ve invested.
But the real return I will get from YouTube will be much greater than any financial return I could ever receive from the platform.
The True YouTube “Metric” That Motivates Me
What nobody ever talks about in the YouTube community is legacy.
When you die and all of those videos are sitting on your channel collecting digital dust —the real question to ask yourself is — how do you want to be remembered when people watch those videos?
I wish I had a written diary of my great great great-grandfather. I would sit down and read every word he had penned about life in the 1770s.
“March 12th, 1771. I walked to the top of the mountain to create smoke signals with my mates” — that would be cool to read!
Your great great great great grandchildren are going to have the same curiosity about you in 200+ years from now.
They are not going to give a shit about how much money you earned from YouTube or how many views you received within 3 hours of posting the video. Pft.
They are going to be more intrigued by your demeanor — how you talk. How you behave. And be amused by your “quirky” on-camera traits. They’ll be entertained… or inspired… or both.
I have this crazy-ass idea that my YouTube channel is a documentary in-the-making of my life.
A library of content that my future children and grandchildren can look to for motivation, inspiration, entertainment, and curiosity.
The videos on my channel are raw, authentic videos of me preparing for fitness model competitions and soon — will be a complete library of videos of me preparing to summit Mt Everest, scuba dive down 100 metres, building businesses, dating girls, and much more.
The life challenges my future children will present to me with will be everything that I have gone through myself or currently dealing with.
History often repeats itself.
If I can successfully hustle my way to my dreams of climbing the tallest mountains, winning fitness model competitions, building businesses, and so on, and document all of the ups and downs of that journey — via video — then I’ve just created a real life educational documentary for my future children to learn from.
That beats the value any child would get from a Grade 11 Chemistry class.
In 2036, I may get a question like this: “Dad… I’m really struggling with figuring out what I want to do with my life. I’m confused. I can’t decide whether I want to go to law school or travel the world.”
My response will be easy — “watch vlog #2144 to vlog #2154 where I document the same career conflict and how I broke through it.” “Oh, and if you are still thinking about competing as a fitness model competitor. See vlog #57 where you will see me getting up on stage for the first time and getting first place 19 years ago.”
The Real Life Coach
There’s no reading a “self help” book and getting all buttered-up and inspired by polished abridged anecdotes by the author.
No… with my YouTube channel. You’ll get the unabridged no-bullshit documentary of my life and all of the adventures within it.
Of course, you’ll get all of the utility videos around how to lose fat, build muscle, etc.
Rather than paying attention to a stock standard off-the-shelf life coach with a cheesy sales pitch smile on the front cover of their self help book — you’ll be able to watch my actions video-by-video and see how I prepare for some of the biggest physical and mental challenges that I’ll face in life.
That’s my legacy.
That’s what I want to be remembered for.
That life threw a challenge at me and I crushed it.
And nobody has created a documentary like this because the pre-requisite is to live your complete life. It will only really benefit generations to come.
In 300 years from now, nobody is going to give a rats about how many subscribers I had. Or how much I earned from YouTube.
People will walk away from watching my videos inspired enough to start their own fitness journey. To become a better version of themselves. And I will be forever known to my future children as a man that knew no boundaries. That put his heart and soul into everything he did.
The value they will get from my videos and any following generation, will trump any currency YouTube could ever pay me.