Never Normal Newsletter

Learning Like Mr. Beast

In my last email, I wrote about why it took me five years after quitting my job to actually start my journey as a digital nomad. In short:

Making a big change is extremely difficult if you are trying to change your life in a way that makes you different from the people around you.

In case you haven’t noticed, this is something I think about often…

If you want to become a doctor, the path will look something like this:

  • Study hard and get good grades in school
  • Go to university and study biology or pre-med
  • Take the entrance exam and apply to medical schools
  • Go to medical school
  • Work as a resident
  • Get your medical license
  • Congratulations you’re a doctor! 🎉

Becoming a doctor is not quick or easy, but at least there is a proven path to follow.

And perhaps even more important — while you’re on that path, if you tell people what you’re doing, they will cheer you on and encourage you.

“Wow, a doctor! That’s great! Your parents must be so proud…”

But what if you don’t want to be a doctor?
(or a lawyer, or an engineer, or an investment banker…)

I’ll never forget Justin Gary telling me the story of how his mom cried when he dropped out of law school to pursue his dream of becoming a game designer (spoiler alert – he’s now one the most sought after, successful game designers in the industry).

I was reminded of that story again yesterday, listening to Joe Rogan interviewing Mr. Beast. There are a bunch fantastic life lessons in this 15-minute clip from the interview:

In case you’re not familiar, Jimmy (aka Mr. Beast) is one of the most successful YouTubers on the planet. Across his network of YouTube channels, he has nearly 200 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed about 24 billion times. 🤯

Forbes estimates that he earned $54,000,000 from YouTube in 2021. Not bad for a 23 year old who never studied or even brought his books home from school.

Naturally, these days Jimmy’s mom is supportive and proud of her son (how could she not be?), but there was a time when they fought constantly about his poor performance at school and his obsession with YouTube.

Jimmy started uploading videos when he was just 11 years old. But with “terrible acne” and general awkwardness, he was an unlikely social media star. Especially since, “professional YouTuber” wasn’t even a thing back then.

He spent years making videos that earned nothing. So how did he stick with it for so long when it seemed so unlikely that he would succeed?

Joe credits Jimmy’s success to his having a ‘hyper obsession’ and being willing to put in the hours to become the best at his craft.

But there was another important ingredient too…

Early in his rise to YouTube stardom, Jimmy formed a mastermind group with a few other aspiring YouTube “lunatics” who shared the same vision. They spent hours each day talking, experimenting, and analyzing popular videos.

They all went on to become successful YouTubers, including of course, Mr. Beast himself.

That’s the power of learning together in a group — you get to accelerate the learning process by effectively increasing the number of iterations / experiments you’re exposed to.

Having a group of supportive peers also provides accountability (you show up because you don’t want to let the group down) and best of all, it provides a counter to all the naysayers and people nudging you to abandon your dreams.

That’s why I decided to create a cohort-based, live course (taught by me) for people who want to become digital nomads.

The first cohort kicks off in May. I’ll share the syllabus next week.

In the meantime, if you think you might be interested, and you haven’t done this already, then please click the button below and fill out the two-minute survey.

​There’s no commitment required, it’s just a couple of questions.

Your feedback will help me make the course extra awesome, and in return, you’ll get a $100 discount if you decide to enroll later.

Again, there’s no payment or commitment yet! This is just letting me know that you’re interested in the course when the time comes.

That’s all for this week. More soon!

Not a subscriber?

I write occasional emails to share what I’m thinking, learning, and doing. It’s all related to the idea of breaking free from the “default plan” in life.

Want to learn along with me? Join my Never Normal Newsletter: