How This 21 Year Old Makes 6-Figures Using YouTube as a Springboard

The Internet Has Made Way For a New Kind of Entrepreneur

That scene in American Psycho, you know the one. Where Patrick Bateman puts on his eye mask whilst carrying out his 1000 stomach crunchs. He then proceeds to get in the shower, apply one of his three body scrubs and moves on to his facemask. That one.

Well, that idea of a morning routine has taken the internet by storm and as such the morning routine, or rather optimising your morning routine has become a fascination. All over the globe YouTubers, blogger and frankly annoying with an internet connection has been sharing their morning routines for comparison.

The one that gets the most attention is obviously the one that has the most productivity packed into every second. The one that makes you feel most awake, the one that optimises every second of time, the one that makes your skin feel plumpest, your energy levels the highest and makes you feel the best version of yourself.

What results is something like this:

  • 5 am — Wake up call to the sound of songbirds;
  • 5 am to 5:30 am — Drink 1L of water, vitamins, journal, chant in the mirror about success and stretch;
  • 5:30 am to 6:30 am — Meditation followed by some form of exercise and then the highly anticipated cold shower;
  • 6:30 am to 7 am — Prioritise the key deliverables for the day, visualise success, read.

Richard Yu is a YouTuber.

He’s a self-proclaimed productivity coach and a six-figure earner. He is making some big money in a sea of online coaching and I wanted to understand how. Knowing that someone is making six-figures selling productivity as a product opens the doors to some questions.

  • What qualifies someone to be a productivity coach?
  • If your productivity is about coaching productivity, are you actually productive?
  • What compels people to spend huge sums of money on productivity?
  • Why do we need to be so productive?

What We Know About the Typical Structure of Life

What we know about life and society is pretty simple. Go to school, get a decent job, work that job for the next 50 years, buy a four-bed detached house, go on 2.4 holidays per year and have exactly 2.5 kids.

That, in short, is the recipe to a normal life.

That was before the internet took the world by storm and now the next wave of workers are questioning everything about the standard model. Why work a job you hate? Why settle in a life you don’t love? Why not work and create a second source of income? Why not take on big risk?

Richard nearly fell into the trap of the prescribed way of life until he found his way into entrepreneurship. Now, admittedly I’m always dubious of people that self-identify as an entrepreneur with no actual definition of what they do but nonetheless I think there are some real lessons to learn here.

Have the Audaciousness to Leverage Your Skills

At 21 years old, Richard is working a 9–5 and running his side hustle in the same niche. He is learning alongside his mentor and boss then using those skills to make a considerable amount of income on the side.

Most people, myself included, would question if they are ready to leverage such skills if they are qualified, worthy of such things. Yet, Yu teaches us all a lesson when he divulges how much he earns from a 1–2–1 coaching session.

For $250 per hour, you can get Richard to look into your schedule, he will help you identify gaps in your processes, help you change your mindset and increase your productivity significantly.

For comparison, for $225 you can get an Away suitcase, $200 gets you an Apple Watch, you could buy 25 books with $250. $250 is quite a lot of money when you think about it.

Charge high and leverage your skills.

Create Good Habits That Hold You To Account

Richard tells us the story of how he used to have bad habits that led him to procrastinate often and not be as productive as he could be. This led him to go through a bit of a transformation whilst at University and got him focused and productive.

He now teaches what he learnt at a premium. Those habits have led him to hold down his 9–5 job, to publish consistently on YouTube and to create a schedule that allows him to produce content to build an online coaching business.

Good habits create output that you can build products from. That doesn’t just extend to his business life though, it extends to his personal habits too. That morning routine I described at the start, well that level of a squeaky clean morning routine is the standard Yu sets.

Be Clear on What You Want and Work The Hours

You watch Richard and between the moments of slight awkwardness and hope that there is going to be a spark of spontaneity, you can’t help but admire his strict schedule work ethic.

It’s easy to talk about how much you want something, to fantasise about what it would be like to be earning more, to be able to live a life where you feel like you are making it. At 21, he’s doing better than most of us could hope to be doing financially in our lifetimes.

It shows that if you are willing to put the work in, you will get the rewards. If you can commit yourself to hold yourself to account, to work hard, to put the time in and be clear on what you want. You can achieve some really impressive stats.

Use Platforms as a Funnel, Not a Final Destination

Richard posts consistently on YouTube but doesn’t make a great deal of money out of it. However, that’s not the point of YouTube for Yu, the point is to show people how productive he is. If he is able to post videos consistently, grow an audience of over 100k subs and showcase his workout routines, what is he saying to his audience?

He’s saying “look at me, I don’t just tell you how productive I am, I show you real results and evidence, you could be just like me if you listen to what I have to say.”

If you have an audience of 100,000 subscribers and just 1% want to know more about the services you offer to think about the math that sits behind that.

We know that Yu charges $250 per hour, imagine if 100 of his viewers want private consulting. That’s $25,000 for just over 2 weeks work. However, what if your demand exceeds the time you have?

Enter online courses.

Any platform that you can produce content on acts as a springboard for monetisation.

Regardless of the moral implications (and there are some) of creating content online, monetising it even when your expertise is questionable, there is something we can learn from this productivity coach.

Namely, hard work, good habits and consistency lead to captivating an audience and leveraging that audience to buy whatever product you wish to sell them.

The model makes sense, you just need to put the work in.

Written by

BSc Biomedical Science, studying MSc Behavioural Science. Essays exploring a happy self.

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