Anyone who is a regular viewer of YouTubers will tell you that it’s quite hard to narrow down the contenders for the title of their favourite YouTuber, but before you award anyone else the title, let me tell you about Casey Neistat who makes incredible videos by daily vlogging with a DSLR, while riding on a motorised skateboard through the traffic of New York City, and filming unimaginably beautiful time-lapses with a drone while also giving you a little insight into his life and the lessons he’s learned.
In a few of his videos, Casey tells the story of how he went from a high school dropout and living in a trailer park with his son while on social welfare to the success that he is today. At the age of 20, he made the risky move of leaving his life and job in Connecticut behind to move to New York City in an attempt to pursue his dream of making it in the film business. Little did he know that in the next 14 years, he would accomplish his dream of becoming a film maker and progress to become a widely successful YouTuber, where he is able to create what he calls “movies” every day for his audience of 2.6 million people.
Alongside his YouTube career, he also managed to create a television series with his brother which they then sold to HBO for just under 2 million dollars, co-found Beme, a social media app, direct and film advertisements for high end clients such as Google, Nike and Mercedez-Benz, marry the love of his life and give birth to a second baby.
What sets Casey’s videos apart from every other YouTuber’s, aside from his ability to both shoot and edit videos at a professional level, is the little nuggets of wisdom that he gives his viewers in the form of what he calls “stories”. You’re sure to find one of these “stories” in one of his questions and answers vlogs, which is where he undoubtedly gets asked the most about his success and his answer is always “work hard and be brave.”
If you watch any of his vlogs, you will immediately see his insane work ethic, which granted for some may even be a little too insane as he calls free time “the enemy of progress” and he’s even gotten the phrases “Do More”, “Work Harder” and “Always be closing” tattooed on his left arm. But for Casey, work is one of the two essential ingredients for success. His continual argument is that without work you can’t make progress and without progress you can’t succeed
But the work has to be specific. For Casey there’s no point in working at something that’s going to leave you in the same place. If it’s not going to get you to where you want to be then there’s no point wasting time at it. He believes that “In life, you should only ever be doing one of two things and that is: figuring out what you’re most passionate about, like finding your dreams in life. And then two, realizing those passions, realizing those dreams” and working towards them. It’s his passion that fuels his work not money and he maintains that “If the reason why you’re doing anything creative is to make a living, then you’re doing it wrong. You get into it because it’s a true passion, it’s something you really believe in….” and if you work hard enough then the money will follow.
The only other essential ingredient for Casey is bravery, or more specifically being brave enough to take risks. In an interview with National Geographic Casey said that “When I look back at my career, I see all of these tangents and the tangents that have always yielded success were the tangents where there was no established path, no defined route for me to take, but I went down it anyways.” There’s a cap on the amount of success you can have by sticking to the path, by following the crowd and obviously stability and comfort feels great, but is it so good that you wouldn’t take the chance to reach your full potential, to succeed?
But his key to success is only one of the many “stories” that Casey tells in his own creative way. So if you’re interested in watching amazingly well shot and edited vlogs everyday, with an added hint of wisdom then you should definitely check out Casey Neistat.