Casey Neistat is one of my favorite YouTube success stories. Neistat grew up with pretty much everything against him. In 2001, he was a high school dropout working as a dishwasher in Connecticut. Today, against all odds, Neistat has become an internationally renowned filmmaker, and manages to keep a wildly popular YouTube channel with almost 5 million subscribers.
In a recent video (embedded below), Neistat won the a GQ Men of the Year award for his YouTube channel. The embed will jump directly to the scene I’m referring to (but you should watch the whole video if you have time). After winning the award, he makes a comment that’s simple but at the same time very powerful:
I click the same upload button that everyone else can click.
This comment was meant to highlight that YouTube levels the playing field and lets anybody keep an online channel and upload videos. I found another message in this: Neistat uses the same YouTube upload form that everyone else uses, deals with the same anxiety, and probably deals with the same resistance that others face everyday. But he manages to overcome and keep up a daily vlog, with which he’s become a pseudo-celebrity.
The takeaway for me was this: the people you look up to are similar to you. They use similar tools and face the same challenges that you encounter; they just keep at it. Resistance fights everybody; some people manage to beat it.