Building Multiple Revenue Streams as a Spoken Word Artist - with Suli Breaks

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Can you really make a living as spoken word artist? Absolutely.

Suli Breaks is an inspiring spoken word artist whose work balances funny with informative and tackles many of today’s toughest issues like education, racism and living a life of purpose. And even though he’s been writing for a while it wasn’t until this year that he began building it into a business that could support him full time. We’re going to talk about the different revenue streams he’s created, the lessons he’s learned along the way and a whole lot more.

In this interview you’ll learn…

  • 7:04  Suli’s realization that no one wanted to pay for his skills early on
  • 10:58  what kept him going
  • 15:10  what he learned about making viral YouTube videos
  • 18:42  why you should speak like your audience
  • 22:23  how Suli started working with big companies


Show Notes

Podcast transcript

Andy: Welcome everyone to Starting from Nothing, the Foundation podcast. Today we have with us Suli Breaks on the show. Suli is an inspiring spoken word artist whose work bounces funny with informative and tackles many of today’s toughest issues like education, racism and living a life of purpose. Even though he’s been writing for a while now, it wasn’t until this year that he began building it into a business that could support him full-time. So, we’re going to talk about the different revenue stream that he’s created and the lessons that he’s learned along the way and a whole lot more. Suli, welcome man. Thanks for coming. Suli: What’s up? How you doing? Andy: Really well. I’m really excited for this interview because I watched your videos and you seem to just operate from a place connected to like so much heart and passion in the work that you’re doing and it’s really inspiring. Suli: Thank you. I appreciate it. Andy: When you meet someone new at like a cocktail party, what do you tell them that you do? Suli: I just say I’m an artist. That’s probably the simplest way to describe that. Andy: Yeah. Suli: To say I’m an artist. Yeah. Andy: So for people that haven’t … they’re not familiar with the art of the spoken word, how would you define that to them? How would you explain? Suli: I’d say it’s essentially poetry, how you read it on a page but is conveyed more vocally. The whole point was enticing, listening to it from auditory perspective so it’s kind of like does it look a bit more romantic and there’s a bit more rhyme to it. But essentially, it’s the same … has the same kind of literary skills used when you’re writing poetry in a page. And is very similar to music, I mean it’s kind of like … it’s the predecessor to when hip-hop and rap came out, you know what I mean. That’s the kind of basis and foundation; it was based on spoken word. Anyone who’s a hip-hop fan will definitely see the similarities between the two. Andy: Got it. Do you have any short things you can give us an example? Suli: Oh … Andy: Not today? Suli: Not today. Maybe another time. Andy: We’ll throw some links down below because some of the videos are just absolutely incredible. Suli: Thanks. Andy: How did you get into this? When did you start? Suli: I started performing in my final year of university. It was kind of on a whim because my whole life I’d been writing and I’ve kind of expressed myself through poetry and music for a long time but I’ve never really play out there. It was kind of random occurrence that led to me being on stage a particular event we were doing do and the response was pretty … it was really good; I got good reception. And those kind of graduating from uni, I kind of had that decision you make wherever you wanted to go into a follow-up path because it’s laid out for you or you can [inaudible 00:03:09] which are passionate about or you’re purposeful. So for me, that was kind of the ultimate [inaudible 00:03:15] I had to do something that I enjoyed and it came with the poetry, spoken word and the music. So, that’s what led to me going down that route. It wasn’t … yeah. Andy: So, when did you start writing? Suli: When did I start writing Spoken Word? Probably when I was about 16-17? Andy: Yeah. What inspired you to do that? Suli: Just nothing. Just listen to a lot of music. Really. There was no real direct. It was just something fun to do, you know, you get bored. [Inaudible 00:03:46] played computer games and mine often got confiscated, you know what I mean, [inaudible 00:03:51]. So that was probably where it was. Andy: So, 16-17 start and then … Suli: Yeah. Andy: First performance, senior year of uni. Suli: Yeah. Andy: What led to the performance? How did that happen? Suli: Me and a couple of … it was very ego-driven. Me and this guy, we’re having a dispute over some freestyle rap or something like that. He was basically saying … he was talking a lot of non-sense so when it came down to doing the event, he said to me, “Oh yeah, we need to be on the stage.” Just to try and show me up. Obviously, I wasn’t going to back down for the challenge because I said, “Yeah, I can write and I could …” I mean … I’ve got skills so don’t tell me I can’t do. So, it was kind of just very egodriven. Just me trying to prove a point, you know I mean. I ended up on the stage doing it and … yeah. Andy: And what happened? Suli: Oh, the response is phenomenal. We did in rehearsal first time and I was … I always get nervous till this day but I was extremely nervous because it was in front of everyone that was a part of the stage performance. Then we did other stuff like dances, musicians and I was really nervous. And in the rehearsal, when I did it, everyone went crazy doing like “Yo, this is amazing.” I’ve got such a big response [inaudible 00:05:00]. I didn’t expect it. Even I, all my pride I didn’t expect the reception to be that good. So, I’ve got a big response from that and from that response, I kind of channeled it on to the stage and people would see in rehearsal already … they were hyping it up to the people that were coming to the event. You know what I mean? Andy: Yeah. Suli: So, yeah, it was really phenomenal. It was really cool, man. It was kind of feeling that stays with you for a long time. Andy: Oh yeah. And I’m sure with … that would be right at the end of senior year. I bet that, you know, how did that affect your decision-making deciding what to do next? Suli: It was at the end of my junior year. Sorry, it wasn’t … Andy: Oh junior year. Suli: It could be to my junior year. Yeah. So, it was kind of the end of my junior year. I really pick up again and [inaudible 00:05:48] at the end of the junior as we’re climaxing it. That production happened and then I went into the senior year the following year. Andy: Got it. And then so … this was 2008-2009? Is that right? Suli: Yeah, 2008- 2009 exactly, yeah. Andy: Wow. So, you have this incredible experience you’ve been working at this passion of yours for five, six years now. What happened when you graduated? Suli: When I graduated, the first … apart from the reality check of being in the real world, the first thing I did when I graduated was try to sustain myself why I was doing at the time, you know what I mean. The little performances at different places but that wasn’t feasible at all. [Inaudible 00:06:32] you’re trying to establish yourself [inaudible 00:06:34] struggle at the start. No one knows who you are, people aren’t willing to pay for you to be … you can’t [inaudible 00:06:40], you have nothing, you don’t have audience so ultimately I gave up. I didn’t give up performing but I realized I’d have to get a job. So, my first job, it was like a supermarket. I was working in a supermarket. What … but every job would not … none of them was longer than a year. So, I went in that supermarket then I got fired from that one. In the same time I was performing, I still go to my repertoire, I go to [inaudible 00:07:08] then I went to another supermarket. I worked there for a year. I did a handful of jobs and probably it wasn’t until about 2011, probably 2011, 2010 that I find a [staple 00:07:18] while I was working in the trainer shop and that allowed me to perform and at the same time, you know, just work the casual 9:00 to 5:00 job but that’s the same time I discovered YouTube and the potential behind it. So, it was during that period where I learnt how to edit videos and kind of translate and convey my art for YouTube the best way possible. So it was during that period where I started developing my persona online and Brandon. It wasn’t until the end of 2012, was the end of 2012 when I got fired again. That’s the longest I’ve stayed at any job. I was there over a year and a half. At the end of the year … they fired me for something [inaudible 00:07:59]. It was actually in relation to video that I did on YouTube. That was the reason I got fired – ironically. So, they fired me for that video. Andy: What was the reason? Suli: For things I’ve taken up on my videos just … The reason for the video I got fired was because … what I did was very risky and very silly. By the time I was working for Nike which is a big company worldwide. Obviously, I’m working at [inaudible 00:08:22] etc. but I’ve been studying virality law and how things go popular. One way things go popular is by, you know, what’s the word? I’m not sure of the word but, you know, when you say something that involves the big company or you discredit them in a way or you talk about them. Andy: Yeah. Suli: They released these sneakers and these sneakers are ridiculous, you know what I mean. They were scuffed up. You buy the sneakers today and I thought this is ridiculous so I bought the trainers and I bought them home and I made a video about the trainers hoping to go viral and everyone would get their attention. But unfortunately it backfired. The managers caught wind of it. In about three or four months later, I was in the manager’s office and they were like, “This doesn’t stand. You can’t do this.” Yeah. That’s what actually kills about it. Andy: Oh, that’s hilarious. Suli: Yeah. It was very silly. Yeah. Andy: So, in terms of sustaining yourself, art’s a really hard thing to sustain yourself on. What were the revenue streams that you had up until … up until 2012, like, before you discovered YouTube, how did you make money from your art? Suli: The only way I made money before discovering YouTube was physically appearing at events. That was demand in … I realize that long-term, that’s not what I wanted to do. [Inaudible 00:09:43] other stuff. I tried to make a product which was like a DVD of my performances and try to sell that but I didn’t have the right outlets for that and at the same time I didn’t know how to publicize and get it out. So during that time, the only way I did made revenue was doing performance [inaudible 00:09:55]. You have to acknowledge that sometimes, when you perform or you do certain things for money … so that was always that conflict but that was the only way I was making any kind of money [inaudible 00:10:06]. I’d get invited to an event and this would be my feat to turn up and I’d perform and then I’d go back. But it wasn’t a substantial amount of money, I was getting maybe … I don’t know what the equivalent would be. It would be like $100. I’ll get £60, £50 just here and there. Andy: Yeah. Suli: So it wasn’t enough to sustain yourself in any way at all [inaudible 00:10:25] at the time. Andy: That’s so tough, man. So … Suli: Yeah. Andy: Really tough. I think to make it through that period you just have to be driven by passion. Suli: You have to. You definitely have to. Because there was a lot of events where you … you went and you came back with nothing, you know what I mean? Andy: Yeah. Suli: You go there and you [inaudible 00:10:43] you’re not going to get paid in your time and you probably have to miss work that day as well. Call in sick and you’re losing your paycheck but you got to go in and do what you want to do. It was definitely difficult to [inaudible 00:10:52] period. Andy: So, this was the end of 2012 which is, you know, just the end of last year. Suli: Yeah. Andy: What shifted after that? Suli: My understanding of business kind of changed but it’s basically the fact that my channel was growing but then with the success of one of the video just grew exponentially to the point where I attracted a lot of attention from … and not only was I fired at the time but I gain quite a large amount of revenue of that one video so I got about … so it’s about £4,000. So, maybe like $6,000 or something like that. Looking in context at that time, it was like … that’s like my salary for the next six months. So my mind was like, do I go back and work for six months or do I find a way to maneuver this money and make it work for me to increase it within the six months going forward? You know I mean. At that point I just saw … I’m looking at all the potential outlets and obviously the revenue was coming from YouTube but that would be dependent on me having video that had six million views … four million views every single time, you know what I mean? And that is very difficult. I was quite fortunate because I negotiated quite a good contract with YouTube network which increase my revenue exponentially and allowed me to gain an extra … additional kind of income but at the same time when your brand increases you can kind of increase your performance, you can increase your performance fees. Probably the key thing for me which I realize was that not only could I sell my persona and my art but also my insight, my creative skills, you know I mean, that people, companies value that asset and that was a very, that’s a very big commodity for me just going into the [inaudible 00:12:35] at the moment and it does provide a social revenue for me, just my ability to help companies or people grow it in from a creative standpoint. Well, just for my insight on YouTube. Andy: So, when you first started doing YouTube, were you just recording videos and throwing them online or did you have a strategy behind it? What was the thought process? Suli: I did everything. First, I was just putting videos out and [inaudible 00:13:01] and then I’d paste them on everybody’s wall on Facebook. Everybody I knew, I’d spam, “Checkout my video. Checkout my video.” I could do that for about five, six days that I’d go on through a list of a thousand, 1,500 people. I even used to pay my little cousins to copy and paste my work onto people’s walls. My Facebook account actually got closed on and that made me realize that that’s not a viable way to share my work, especially because a thousand people only equates about 200 views on YouTube. So what I really did was take a step back and start to study other YouTubers and see what strategies they implemented and what was popular on internet and the viral aspect. There was a point where … I’d studied so in depth that you could mention a public YouTuber and I could tell you how many subscribers they have and probably how many views they have and what’s their most popular video, you know what I mean? Because I studied. From that aspect I started, I started to kind of … create a kind of schedule and strategy around. One of the biggest strategies which I found really worked was something as simple I didn’t realize was getting a mailing list, you know what I mean. I got to go to a lot of events and I never took anything back from them. I start to realize all these people want to see more of my stuff. So if I can’t relate some kind of a mailing list of all these people and putting the stuff out to them that would really help. And then there was little [inaudible 00:14:17], that little tricks at a trade that people don’t know is how you title a video makes a huge difference. You know I mean? Just little things. How you post the video on Facebook makes a huge difference, you know I mean? What you say prior to put into YouTube link underneath it. Sometimes even more effective not to say anything and just put a link – depending on the nature of the video. Andy: Yeah. Suli: So all these little things I started to implement into my whole kind of YouTube and the stuff like collaborations and all that stuff I started to study and put forward. Yeah. The turning point for me really, what made me study YouTube in depth was a guy that was telling me about a video that he shot and the video was called Abomination and he said, “Our video has three million views because it was at the time at the inauguration and the most popular word search at the time was Obama and inauguration and that video tie in both of them.” And he said to me, “YouTube is a science. You can just figure out the science.” Andy: Yeah. Suli: I really took the step back and try to analyze it from that standpoint. Andy: This is awesome. I’m so excited right now because from the outside, when people see viral videos they get, like, four million things on YouTube and you’re like, “Oh, you just got lucky. You’re an overnight sensation,” but absolutely not. There is like no question that that was going to happen at some point for you. Suli: Yeah. I believe so. I like to believe that. Even on my wall, like I said to people, but prior to my video hitting three million views, I actually wrote on my wall that just got one million views, you know I mean? I had a go in my head because I really wanted to dominate and try and take over the YouTube market. I actually wrote it as a specific goal in my wall, one million views, three weeks after I wrote that, that’s when my video hit. Even that Why I Hate School But Love Education, I even had some [inaudible 00:15:59] with me and my friend when we was making one of the video and saying, “This is going to hit a million views,” you know I mean. I haven’t point out that yet but … there’s an angle and you can kind of … I’m not saying I just made the videos for the views but … you can maneuver and you can work. You can work it. People that know me know that I’ve taken a lot of time to look into the world of YouTube specifically. Andy: Yeah. It sounds like you just studied the best of the best and then figured out what worked and used it for yourself and got results. Suli: Yeah. I’m very grateful. Andy: It’s amazing. What was the video that was the first big hit for you? Was it the education? Suli: Yeah, Why I Hate School But Love Education. Andy: Why did that become a big hit? What did you do differently in this video or what about this was so unique or special? Suli: This video … what I’ve always had is I’ve always had content. [Inaudible 00:16:56] as we had good content but I never had production value, you know I mean? I never had someone behind me to film this to a level where by … is visually because YouTube works from two fronts. You always have that visual aspect and also at the same time you have to have the content, you know I mean? But a visual aspect is very important as well as stuff like the [inaudible 00:17:16]. When all my videos … if you know it was from 2011, if you search my videos when I started, I’ve barely been on YouTube. I start to try and make videos, we tried production value. By that time I was still editing my videos and there wasn’t really value wasn’t really out there. But whereas with this one, the production value was up there and at the same time a lot of people don’t acknowledge that YouTube is a worldwide audience. You can create a niche but when you talk about subjects you generally want to talk about subjects that resonate with people on a global scale. I didn’t know the education topic resonated that much but I knew that it was something that everybody on a global scale could relate to. In the past, I’ve done stuff which I know is specifically aimed at a market in London and I know that’s not going to go viral to an extent because it’s aimed that one target people whereas with this one, this was aimed at a broad spectrum of people. When you do make videos, those things are important because, like, for instance, in London we say things like trainers but when I make a video I’ll say sneakers because it’s more accessible worldwide. You know I mean? Andy: Yup. Suli: So, that definitely had a broad reach; overriding reach. Andy: So when you built this video and you posted it online, did you do any promotion around it? Like what was … okay, the video is shot, now what? Suli: Yeah. When the video is shot, I mean, I do like to … A guy I really admire is Tim Ferriss because he’s know to be a very big self-promoter and I do pride myself a little bit on being quite a good self-promoter. I actually have a kind of promotional strategy which I implement like … It’s crazy because I actually … I use those period where I built [inaudible 00:18:53] and I post videos on different days in a week and see which one has got the most response and how … what work best. I definitely had a day which … I had a time which I deal which works in my audience but at the same time … I positioned it in a way that I made sure it reaches many people at the same time. Before releasing the video, I obviously reassured of my audience, reaffirmed in my audience but then I manage … I got lots of blogs, lots of outlets which covered the same subject matter and I made sure I had them all in a mailing list and I made sure I wrote something which is descriptive. I wrote a brief of it but at the same time with all my videos going forward now I write a brief of it but then I get edit it, to look at it to make sure it concise … you want to post it. You know I mean? That was definitely a promotional strategy. It wasn’t … I mean it had a viral nature too but it wasn’t just … my video wasn’t one the ones we just post [inaudible 00:19:45] once and next [inaudible 00:19:46] it takes off. I did have a promotional strategy and I’ve gradually [inaudible 00:19:51] the views increase. Because even when you look at Facebook [inaudible 00:19:54] posted video once, not everybody on your Facebook is going to see it. You know I mean? So continuous post to do increase the view count of what you’re showing. A lot of people don’t acknowledge that and they post it once and then they post it once the next week but continually post in, not in the same day but with intervals it does help the views and help the video arise. Andy: I love this because so many people think that viral videos just happen, you know? Like there’s no science behind it. That it’s just like this mystery but it’s so cool here in the inside scoop on how it works. Suli: [inaudible 00:20:28]. One of my friend, Jayson, showed me a guy, Jonah, Berger recently but he knows a lot stuff about YouTube. He’s very interesting and wrote a book called Contagious which I’m yet to read but it’s very interest in theories which I discovered myself learning YouTube that he’s kind of made so accessible to everyone. Andy: Beautiful. So now this is … you left your job less than a year ago right now? Suli: Yeah. December, yeah. Andy: When did that video go viral? Was that in December or January? Suli: Same month. Andy: Same month. How beautiful is that. Suli: Yeah, yeah. Same month. Andy: So now what are your revenue streams? Suli: Aside from the YouTube revenue, at the same time I’m partnered with a company in San Francisco because the guy was a really big kind of fan of my work and he spoke to me earlier on. We kind of came up with an agreement whereby I help him come up with creatives but we partner with companies to kind of give them insight into building that social platform and social media. Going forward, we hope to extend that where I can actively be involved in some of the videos and some of the projects. But being in the UK at the moment is just kind of creative input and insight into what they should do which is quite a good revenue stream. We also got some people who … there’s companies in the UK, one in particular at the moment I’m working with, I give them kind of [traded 00:21:56]. Like I was saying, selling my insight, that is really powerful so I give them creative guidance into some of the stuff they are trying to do. Like kick start a campaign and stuff like that. That work some kind of like a sponsorship base as whereby it allows me to get kind of sponsorship revenue from them, you know I mean. Andy: Yeah. Suli: Yeah. It’s more like a fix contractual but that works on … it was contractual but if you know what I mean. That’s kind of separate from the market in where I just go in every once in a while. And at the same time, the normal mediums whereby its merchandise but what I did find as well which really provide the revenue which I didn’t expect was people really feeling [inaudible 00:22:34] to download my stuff on iTunes. You know I mean? They [inaudible 00:22:37] and they like it on iTunes so that’s actually … I thought quite a few projects on iTunes. Going forward, I’m going to try capitalize on that a bit more because more than I expected people actually do buy a lot of the stuff by that medium. So it’s just many different as [inaudible 00:22:52] is outlets at the moment which are common accumulating into a kind of revenue stream which is increasing. As always, the other mediums whereby sponsorships and you do … you go to events. I still turn up to, I still do events. Obviously the fee is a bit higher now so it works for my favor but it’s not my primary resource. That’s why I really wanted to get away from having to be somewhere to make money. Residual income was always one of my goals. So if [inaudible 00:23:18] I have to be some physically, really, that’s very good for me. But I still turn up to speaking events and do performance events as well. We’re hoping to do my own event soon whereby it would allow me to take a great percentage of the revenue at the door because we’re hosting it, we’re bringing audience and it’s all controlled by us but just going forward, just building all that. Andy: Where is the majority of revenue coming from right now for you? Suli: It’s between YouTube and iTunes. Andy: Nice. Suli: It’s only YouTube because, like I said, I partnered with a network and I’ve got … I got a very good deal. Most people partner with the network and the deal is not … The network gets a percentage where I get additional percentage so it’s a very good deal. I don’t have to do … the workload is less to get significant amount or more amount of money. Your voice call. Andy: Sorry, I got mine. There it is. So, if you have a video and let’s say a video on average gets a million views on YouTube, how much is that worth in revenue? Do you have any idea what that works out? Suli: Yeah. In million … I know in pounds, about a million views … For the average YouTube who have no contract, no network, they probably only get about … you can get about just over a grand [inaudible 00:24:41] probably $1,500 probably, yeah. In pounds that would be 1,200. Yeah, in pounds it’d be 1,200, 1,300. Definitely over that thousand buck. Andy: Damn. Suli: Yeah. Yeah. Andy: For a million views. Wow! Suli: Yeah. Especially considering the amount of advertising they’re doing on it. Yeah. It’s really … Yeah. If you’re partnered, you can get a significant amount. If you got a good deal, you can look at anywhere between 3,000 or maybe … just slightly above I think. Andy: It can double, triple … triple your revenue if you negotiate a deal with them. Suli: Yeah because advertising is a place now. They’re contacted by advertisers … Andy: Yup. Suli: … to put these advert. Yeah, the revenue … it can increase. Ultimately, maybe I shouldn’t have say this. Ultimately, the way the middle man completely which is possible and connect directly with YouTube and advertisers, you know I mean. That would decrease your revenue significantly. Andy: How do you get such a good deal with YouTube? Suli: With the network … I just wasn’t willing. I got lots of offers at the time. I just wasn’t willing to sign of anyone, you know I mean? Because I thought like I built up my brand and I plan to build it going forward. You know what I mean? If worse came to worse, I was going to put myself in a position whereby I could sell product placement within the video, you know I mean? I’d contact companies myself. I didn’t want to be in a position whereby … First of all, get exclusivity is something I have issue about. I don’t want anyone to have complete rights of what I do because I feel like I built my brand to a stage and if you have to bring in a lot to the table to take exclusivity but at the same time it was like … I just wasn’t willing to give anyone a percentage and then they came to me with good offer which I thought was reasonable so I said, “Yeah. We work around up.” Initially when they approach me I told them I wasn’t interested in the offer. Andy: Hmm. Suli: Yeah. Andy: Beautiful. So majority of stuff coming from YouTube and iTunes and stuff with … How do you get your first client for the marketing work that you’re doing? And what was that like? Suli: Oh. [Inaudible 00:25:48] did it. He’s … oh, sorry [inaudible 00:26:51]. He’s the guy working [inaudible 00:26:52]. He’s a genius, man. He already had a preexisted list of clients anyway. So he’s not too demanded in that respect. It wasn’t me looking out. Hopefully, going forward, I’m going to try and contact clients so I can work. Yeah, he would had a prelisting … Hopefully we should be doing something which I’m involved in very soon. It was cool, man. It was pretty much what I’m doing then we would just … communicating via him and I will just say I think this would work. That would be the best idea. He was increasing the social and I was like … this is the best thing to put in place. It was pretty straightforward. Andy: Was it pretty easy to transition from doing everything from yourself to doing some consulting for other people? Was there any insecurity around making that leap? Suli: Initially the fear is that … because these people already generating more revenue than as companies already. You know I mean. So you fill out what value can I add? One thing I do realize is that you never really realize how much value you can add until someone tells you, you know I mean. So the fact that they were willing to work with us anyway or work with me and say that in the first place, that shows me the value that I can add. You know I mean. I always really think people shouldn’t under … what’s the word? They shouldn’t devalue themselves. You know I mean? I watched the one at the foundations with Dan Martell and he was talking about how people afraid to ask for money for things, you know I mean? I was one of those key people. I had a big problem that you always undervalue yourself and you’re afraid no one wants the product that you’re selling. Andy: Yeah. Suli: If you put a price on it because someone out there that will pay for it. Andy: Do you still struggle with that? With devaluing your stuff and the work you’re doing? Suli: Not at the moment. (Laughs) Andy: (Laughs) Suli: But I think when I start to progress more to the levels that I want to be I think … it still becomes a conundrum because I’m nowhere near where I want to be. And to progress, there’s sometimes where I feel you have to sacrifice that [inaudible 00:28:47] we gain or that incentive for that progression, you know I mean? There’s going to be stages where I think I may make the mistake in devaluing myself but it’s all part of the learning process and the growth process. Andy: Was there a moment where it switched for you? Where you were devaluing yourself? Like early on your days when you’re just doing your art. Do you remember the moment? And what shifted it? Suli: It was actually very recently, to be honest. It was actually very recently. It was an event. I’m actually wearing the tshirt which is funny. It’s an event run by Joe Polish called the Genius Network. Andy: Yeah. Suli: Yeah. I went to that event and I made … there was a guy … I think it was Brandon [inaudible 00:29:25]. He was talking a lot, you know I mean. When I was listening to him speak I thought this guy makes a lot of sense, you know I mean. He was confident and his whole story was so inspiring, you know I mean? And the fact that he just put his brand on that level and he had faith in it and he pushed it through, that was inspiring. I saw what he was doing. I kind of picked up certain aspects of what you’re doing I thought like … I could really relate to what he does and at the same time relate to what he was saying. So being around so many people who was secure and aren’t afraid to talk about their [inaudible 00:29:54] … And also, remember, I’m from the UK. Over in the UK we’re very reserve culture, very prestige, you know I mean? Everyone likes to pretend [inaudible 00:30:03] money who is non-issue, you know I mean? It was kind of like to come out of that shell was very difficult. We’re being exposed to that environment really did help, you know I mean? Andy: How did you get plugged in to Joe’s world? Suli: I did a talk with Jayson, Jayson Gaignard in Mastermind Talks I did in Canada. Andy: Yeah. Suli: Yeah. Yeah. It was kind of ranked, it was kind of graded. I came second among … a prestige name of speakers, you know I mean. That was really one of my first kind of speaking … Well, I spoke before but not to that kind of audience. So I think Jayson just connected him and he just like the stuff and he was like, “Yeah. Let me see what you can do,” and he just gave me … Joe … he’s a cool guy. He just gave me to Joe in whim. Yeah, just come and let’s see what you can do and fortunately it went well. Andy: Beautiful, man. Jayson is an amazing guy. Suli: He really is, man. He really is. Andy: Joey, [inaudible 00:31:01], is a good friend of mine. He’s actually … Suli: Yeah. Totally. Joey is amazing, man. Joey … I like Joey. He’s amazing, man. Andy: You need to chat with him about self-promotion. Suli: Yeah. And Joey … Andy: He’s so undiscovered. He’s like just this … he’s an incredible speaker. This year he won … we spoke at this event, Yanik Silver’s Underground, and he won that one and then he won Mastermind Talks. He’s incredible. Suli: Serious. Andy: Yeah. Suli: Yeah, he’s good man. So, why didn’t he [inaudible 00:31:30]? Andy: I don’t know. I think it’s … I really see Joey coming out of … not like his show but I really see him blowing up in the next 12 to 18 months. Suli: Okay [inaudible 00:31:45]. Andy: I think ultimately at the end of the day, he just wants to speak and doesn’t want to do the marketing stuff … Suli: Yeah. Andy: … that is involved with it. Suli: But that’s good, man. Because that means that his product is always pure. You know I mean? When you have something that’s pure, he’s always going to speak for his self eventually. He may not be right now but people will discover it. You know I mean? Because when I saw him speak, hands down, I said this guy is phenomenal. Andy: (Laughs) Yeah. Suli: I went home and I told my girlfriend, “This guy was amazing.” You know I mean? He’s left an impression on him. He’s good, man. Andy: He’s so good. So good. Suli: Yeah. He’s good. Andy: That’s awesome that you’re getting plugged in to that world. How did you meet Jayson? Suli: He just contacted me via … through my manager via … was it Facebook? No. Yeah, probably Facebook. Yeah. Then we just … He flew me out to Canada and we actually did a meet and so he was in the lobby. We just talked and we really just vibed. Give me one second. Okay. Okay. Yes, be quiet. Okay? It’s my nephew. Andy: Oh. Suli: Yeah. Andy: That’s so awesome, man. Jayson is an incredible person. Suli: Yeah. Andy: He was on the podcast a few weeks ago. Suli: Oh, I haven’t even seen this one. I saw Dan’s one. Andy: Yeah. Suli: How to make money selling drugs and it caught my interest. Andy: (Laughs) Suli: [inaudible 00:33:04] about business. It was cool, man. Andy: Yeah. He’s got a wild story too. Let’s talk about … before we wrap up, let’s talk about your beliefs on, you know, where that video came from, of education versus school because I think as entrepreneurs, I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like school is bad, you know? Suli: Yeah. Andy: I fell into that camp. Tell us about your beliefs on that? Suli: I wouldn’t say school is bad or evil. I thought there are certain things you can learn in a school system and most entrepreneurs learn what they shouldn’t be learning in school. That’s why they became entrepreneurs, you know I mean? It’s just that didn’t exist. You know I mean? Ultimately, I think the problem is because the two are so often viewed as so synonymous or whatnot but it causes a huge problem for people who can’t fit within the confines of regulation. I’m one of these people, the confines of regulation or having your mind quarantined or having to develop a certain way. You know I mean? That video just came from my long experience with educational system because I’m someone who never rebelled against the system. I went through every single procedure. I’m not saying I was actively involved in every single class but I went for every procedure. I didn’t go through any of them because I enjoyed … Andy: Yeah. Suli: It was never anything that I [inaudible 00:34:24]. I did it because I went for the best route which is going to benefit me in life to an extent. You know I mean? So all that experience was … what held up and the realization … that kind of accumulated and it became that video or the subject matter of that video. I didn’t truly understand it until two years after finishing university, you have been in the working world … [graduated with me 00:34:45] and understood the concept … to look at people who are successful and then I just [inaudible 00:34:50] between the two. Andy: That’s awesome, man. What’s next for you? So this has been a really crazy year it sounds like and what’s on the horizon? I know you got the map behind you with that big project. Suli: Yeah, man. It’s been really crazy. Yeah. Hopefully … I’m going to be doing more videos and more art but the project is that, yeah. I’ve been given £20,000 around the world in 80 days, you know I mean? We’re trying to meet … We’re already connected with some great people like … one of the guys that gave me the money … he’s invested in Dropbox, SoundClouds. We’re already connected with those guys, you know I mean? We got … maybe Jimmy [inaudible 00:35:30] Wikipedia, we’re going to meet people like that. We’re trying to create interactive experience into the world of innovation, creativity; the realms of society structure. [Inaudible 00:35:42] kind of journey into that uneducated world in that respect. Me and Jayson were speaking about it so we’re looking to connect, create … to meet with some really great people who are doing stuff that are revolutionary in technology, in Science and particularly in art because I’m an artist so we’re basically just going to explore the art around the world. What’s going to be the kind of USP on this is that we’re going to try and film it real time, you know I mean? The YouTube audience is going to be engaged with the journey as the journey is happening. And at the same time, we want the people to collaborate in the journey and film it, you know I mean? So it’s a very collaborative kind of documentary, vlogmentary kind of journey. So it’s a lot of planning leading up to 80 days, three months around the world and I want to be gigging and speaking and performing so yeah that’s primarily taking most of my focus as well as trying to come up with more projects. Andy: That’s intense, man. When does that start? Suli: It’s supposed to start at January. Fingers cross, January. But you know with Visa application … kind of go from Israel to Istanbul. Israel, I just came back from there. The security procedures are so strict, you know I mean? So all that kind of stuff you have to [inaudible 00:36:47] increase the out and then hopefully we’d be ready to go forward. January is the date that we set for ourselves but we’ll see. Andy: Beautiful. Dude, thank you so much for coming on today. It’s incredible. Suli: No problem. It’s been great being here. Andy: If people want to learn about you or reach out to you, help you with this 80-day trip, where can they get in touch with you at? Suli: Eighty days … the website is … All the details are in the website. The website is up but is under construction so you can still use the links on that website but the new one should be up within the next week or so. Andy: Beautiful. Awesome, man. Thank you. Suli: No problem whatsoever, man. Andy: Catch you later. Suli: Take care yourself, bro. Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom action guide so you know exactly what action steps to take to grow your business. Just head over to to download it for free. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

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