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What have you learned from your experience on YouTube about the importance of consistency? Also, from what typically happens with viral videos is just there's... It's so impossibly hard to predict the outcome. A lot of people on YouTube will make videos called How to make a viral video. In marketing it's all like, Here are the secret source, here are the secret principles. But in reality, you can guess a couple of principles, but the outcome is hard to predict. What have you learned about consistency, but then also being able to predict the outcome?


When I was listening to your compounding chapter, I just found myself nodding along like an absolute maniac to everything you were saying. I think it applies so much to YouTube. These days I teach people how to be part-time YouTubers. The thing I say is that if you make one video every week for two years, then I 100% guarantee it will change your life. I can't put any numbers on it. I can't tell you'll have or how much money you'll be making, but I can 100% guarantee it will change your life at the very least in terms of the skills and the experience and the contacts and the friends you're going to make through that process. But you have to put out one video a week and you have to do it for at least two years.


Can I just ask on that then, on that point there, what is it that would make someone do that? Because that's like fucking clean the floor every day for two years, and I promise you it'll work out for you. People don't seem to be able to do those kinds of things without some intrinsic driver. I'm curious, because you could say that to a million people. You could broadcast that through a tunnel and 95% plus will still fail. What is it that makes people from your experience, but also from your own life, makes them do the work without guarantee of outcome?


I think, again, I feel like there's a bit of a cop out because this is stuff that you talk about, like enjoying the process. This is the theme of the book that I'm writing around how it's actually quite hard to show up week after week, not see any results, not see the views and the subscribers going up and stuff particularly quickly. But the thing that makes it bearable, the thing that makes it fun is actually enjoying the process and shifting away from outcome-oriented goals, like a certain number of views, a certain number of subscribers, and more towards goals that are 100% within our control. I just want to make two videos a week, and if I'm happy with the video, then it goes out. In fact, even if I'm not happy with the video, it goes out anyway. Everyone I know who has succeeded on YouTube has had that attitude at some point. I just have to get that video out every Tuesday without fail. It's not an option, it's going to get done. Like you're saying, when we talk about compounding, that video on day one isn't going to do anything. The video on day two or day three or day 24 is not going to do anything.


But you find when you're on day 300 and day 600, Oh, actually, all of this stuff has been compounding very, very slowly. Then the results happen really, really, really slowly and then all at once as soon as you just get that one video, that goes viral.


I think that's the chapter where I talk about The Eighth Wonder of the World. Yeah, that's it with Warren Buffett and my dog Pablo being the opposing investor. I genuinely, I think I learned... I think I did learn a lesson when I wrote the book. When I looked back on my life and I thought about all the things that compounded in my favor, whether it was like... Honestly, if we can keep it facts with you, my teeth had some problems with my teeth and I thought, Do you know why? I probably referenced this in the book. I hadn't been brushing one of my teeth properly and it never mattered today or tomorrow the day after. But there I was in that dentist chair having my teeth fucking pulled out. Then my Instagram is the same. Health and fitness at the moment, the same. My business was the same. It just goes to show that it's not those key, critical, big decisions we make to drop out. It's that like, yeah, the compounding small, almost irrelevant decisions. But people don't... Because I heard you started working out.


I did, yeah. And then you stopped. I've had a personal trainer now for the last eight months.


Or so. There you go, amazing.


I've been going on and off with the workout thing since the age of 18 and never done it properly until I got a personal trainer. Where now I'm having to show up. I'm paying someone 30 quid an hour to basically just be with me while I'm doing stuff. That has been the thing that's given me the most results. I think whatever... I find in my life, for things that I actually care about where I'm like, okay, I actually care about becoming a happy, sexy millionaire or whatever. Let me try and figure out ways that will remove my own need for discipline and willpower from that equation and instead get an accountability buddy or get a coach or pay a friend 100 quid if I don't do the thing. This was what my brother and I did when we were trying to motivate ourselves. I was doing songwriting. He was doing stand-up comedy. We're like, Right, if we don't do this every Thursday for half an hour, we're going to pay each other 50 quid. Things like that to remove the choice, the motivation, the willpower, the discipline. The more of that can be outsourced to someone else or removed completely, the more I find I actually get stuff done.


Then I don't have to worry about it because I'm like, Okay, this is taken care of. I just show up.


I guess you're removing the... As opposed to removing it, you're moving it to another pact. Nier-rael refers to it as what you've described there as a financial pack, where now your motivation is to not lose 50 quid. Because that's a greater motivating force than you have within yourself to work out. Is that sustainable?


No, it's not. It's not, okay. This is all the stuff that I'm researching for the book at the moment. You talk about this as well, like intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The way that I think of it, when I think back on my life, is that everything that I've done sustainably has been because of intrinsic motivation. I've genuinely enjoyed the thing. But you can genuinely enjoy a thing and still find it really hard to get started. I think that's where the biggest procrastination comes in for all of us, where it's actually just showing up to the gym. That's the hard part. But once you're there, it's easy. It's writing those first 10 words, because once you've started writing the first 10, it's easier to enjoy the process of writing the rest of them. The way I think about it is to get over that hump of procrastination, that activation energy to get started. At that point, I will use every tool that in my arsenal to just get me to do the thing for two minutes. Because I think once you do the thing for two minutes, it becomes so much easier to actually enjoy the process and sustain it.


You're so right when it comes to procrastination, that getting started point. I've again just learnt this from podcast guests I've had, and I'm going to refer to him. He said to me one day on this podcast, he was like, People procrastinate usually because there's a great deal of psychological discomfort surrounding starting the task. A lot of the time, especially with the gym or even an essay, that psychological discomfort is like, you don't have the answers, so I don't know how to use the machines at the gym or I don't feel competent enough to even write this essay, so I'm just going to do the fucking dishes. I'm going to hoover the whole house and anyone else's house that needs hoovering today.




You made a video about procrastination, didn't you?




Break that down for me. What's in the video? The video is called How to stop procrastinating, right?


Yeah. The way I think about procrastination, basically, procrastination is a problem with getting started. This law of inertia, Newton's first law that if something is at rest, it will continue to stay at rest. But if something's moving, it will continue to without needing an external force. And so the key to overcoming procrastination is that little notch at the start towards actually getting started. And all of the techniques around that, in the whole psychology research around this, is just around making it as easy as possible. So reduce all of the friction to doing it. If you want to learn the guitar, then have the guitar by your sofa rather than in the wardrobe where you're never going to see it. And if it's out of sight, it's out of mind, you're never going to do it. There's the external environmental friction towards doing the thing. But then there's also the internal friction. It's like those narratives that we tell ourselves, the psychological discomfort of going to the gym, the I don't want to see how other people are going to see me. Even having the wrong goal. If my goal in writing the book is, Oh, I really want to hit the New York Times bestseller list, then it's really, really hard to bring myself to write anything because now every single word I have to write has to be a New York Times bestselling word.


Whereas if the goal is, To be honest, I just want to write a book I'm proud of, that's fun to write. That's actually within my control, and it becomes so much easier to get started at doing the thing. To overcome procrastination, we need to eliminate external friction, i. E, the environmental stuff. We need to try our best to get rid of the internal friction, like the emotional side of it, the mindset, the perfectionism, the fear, the discomfort. Then if we still need help, there are a few hacks. The one that I use all the time is the two-minute rule, which is where I will genuinely convince myself I'm only going to do it for two minutes. If I want, I'm allowed to stop after the two minutes because two minutes is better than nothing. But 95% of the time I decide to continue because two minutes is all you need to change your life. I should tweet that.


That's good. Yeah, that's really good. That two-minute thing is fascinating to me because one of the things that I see as another psychological barrier to starting is people view it as like they view the challenge as Mount Everest. Whereas they've got to say it in another way, they view the challenge as moving Mount Everest. Really, if they viewed it as just like moving one pebble at a time, it becomes such a simple task. I get this a lot when entrepreneurs ask me, say, Steve, I want to start a business, where do I start? You can hear in the question that they see it as moving Mount Everest. I'm like, Well, today all you have to do is think of a name. Just think of 50 names, make a short list of names, and then we'll revisit it tomorrow. Then tomorrow, maybe go and check if the website is available, and then we'll revisit the day after. When it becomes that and when it becomes really small itemized, one small step at a time and you're not having to get from stair zero to 1,000 immediately, it becomes so the psychological discomfort fades away. It feels achievable.


That your two-minute rule is doing a similar thing where it's saying, Well, today I've only got to do just if I can open the Word document and write the title and then we're done. That's fascinating. What about... You were going to say something else there.


Yeah, just to your point there. Have you come across the blog Wait, but Why? No. Oh, it's incredible. You should definitely interview Tim Urban on your own America.


Oh, do you know what? I literally yesterday went on his Instagram and sent him a DM.


Oh, great. Yeah, he's awesome. Any podcast he's ever been on, I've been like, Oh, this is so sick. He has a great blog post series about overcoming procrastination. The way he refers to that point you just made is that there are a lot of tasks that are very vague and icky, and you have to be able to un-ickify a task. Something like start a business is icky. Something like learn to code is icky because what the hell does that even mean? Where do you even start? Whereas brainstorm 10 ideas for a name and pick one of them is a very clearly defined next action step. I get this with students all the time where people are like, Oh, I don't have the motivation to study for my chemistry exam. It's like, What's on your to-do list? Study for my chemistry exam. That's never going to happen. Read chapter one and answer questions four to five are a reasonable thing, a reasonably defined next action step. What I do is, anytime I find myself procrastinating for something, I think, Okay, am I procrastinating? Because I actually... The task is too icky. I don't know what I have to do.


Because once I know what I have to do, I can then do it for two minutes and it gets done.