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

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

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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
80days@sulibreaks.com … info@sulibreaks.com. 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
thefoundationpodcast.com to download it for free. Thanks for
listening and we’ll see you next week.

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