At the age of 19, Evan Carmichael built and then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist raising $500K to $15M. He now runs a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs with over 3 million subscribers and 500 million views, has written 4 books, and speaks globally.
He wants to solve the world’s biggest problem, people don’t #Believe in themselves enough. Forbes named him one of the world’s top 40 social marketing talents and Inc. named him one of the 100 great leadership speakers and 25 social media keynote speakers you need to know. He’s set 2 world records, uses a trampoline and stand-up desk, and owns Canada’s largest salsa dance studio.
This past week, I watched three of Evan Carmichael’s videos. In his videos, he drops key life lessons in helping people strive for a better version of themselves. In this article, I will share three lessons each from the three videos I watched.
1. Don’t Fear Rejection! (YouTube Video)
The first lesson I learnt from this video (Don’t fear Rejection!) was to stick with your goals. People are normally unable to stick with their goals due to lack of self-discipline.
Evan Carmichael gave the example of wanting to stick to a diet but the moment you see junk food like pizza, you immediately forget about your diet and indulge in the pizza instead.
This example he has given shows how fickle human nature can be and how sticking to your goals is not a walk in the park. This is because as soon as you make the commitment to stick to a particular goal, temptations are going to arise to stop you from accomplishing that particular goal. As a result, it will now be in your hands to decide whether you will give into those temptations or not.
Another lesson I learnt was to hate mediocrity. Evan Carmichael illustrates this point by using the Dicken’s exercise that Tony Robbins gives at his three-day conferences.
In this exercise, the participants write down their limiting beliefs, the things that are holding them back psychologically, and the things that they need to act on but are not doing. Evan Carmichael acknowledges that this is a great exercise but unless it’s emotional, you don’t act on it. He believes that you have to hate your life in order to act on it whether it’s a career decision, a health decision or any other decision that concerns you.
For Evan Carmichael, he believes that you should take your limiting beliefs and project them forward (i.e, five or ten years later) to show how much you are holding on to them. For example, you have a passion for bakery and want to start a bakery business but you don’t believe it’s possible. He believes that if you look back at your life as the years pass, you’ll see how believing that you could not start a bakery business has held you back.
The final lesson I learnt was to break free. In Evan Carmichael’s own words, “Where you start from doesn’t have to be where you end up”. In his explanation, he makes the point that you did not choose your beginnings like your family, your community or even wanting to be born but you can choose your ending.
This is because you eventually become an adult and you will have to start making choices that determine your future. This means you have the opportunity to determine the trajectory of your life which creates an opportunity for you to make better decisions than the people before you did.
2. Raise Your Standards! (YouTube Video)
In this YouTube video (Raise Your Standards!), I learnt that you should take on challenges. Evan Carmichael believes one should not hope for a life of ease but rather one full of change or variety. This is because changes will always come with uncertainty but that uncertainty will always take you out of your comfort zone because you learn new things.
This means that one should not fret because of challenges but rather embrace them because there is always something to learn from them. I also learned that your goals must align with your dreams.
Evan believes that yearly future plans (i.e., ten year plans) are a waste in the long-run. He makes the point that when you start chasing your dreams and aligning your goals with those dreams, you start to tick things off your yearly list before you even know it.
For instance, if you wanted to accomplish goal A in ten years, you would actually accomplish goal A in two years because you arranged your goals in accordance to your dreams.
Lastly, I learned that I should not settle for the wrong things. In simple terms, just because I want to achieve an aim doesn’t equate to me being in a hurry to achieve it. This is because rushing to achieve an aim will lead to a life of suffering as I will have to deal with the consequences of any bad decisions that occur during such a hectic period.
3. The People Who Win, Work The Hardest! (YouTube Video)
In this YouTube video (The people who win, work the hardest!), I learned that you need to build self-discipline. Evan explains how self-discipline has a negative connotation attached to it because people view it as forcing yourself to do things that you hate.
He rather chooses to see self-discipline in a positive light and uses the example of his fitness journey to illustrate this point. He narrates how he has been the heaviest weight he has been his whole life and how incorporates self-discipline tips like monitoring what he eats throughout the week and doing cardio for thirty minutes in the evening as he watches TV with his wife to shed some of the weight.
However, he mentions that for self-discipline to be effective, you need to have a strong “why” and find ways to make the process enjoyable for yourself. Therefore, for self-discipline to work, all your priorities need to be aligned for this to happen.
I also learned to just start now. In Evan’s own words, “The ultimate failure is doing nothing whilst having an idea”. He sees perfectionism as a killer. This is because wanting everything to be perfect before hitting the start button means nothing gets achieved.
He used the example of how he lost a $40M deal because he believed he had crafted the perfect plan but he actually had not. He also mentions how sometimes you have not actually figured out what you think you have figured out. It is only when you start executing that you will be able to identify the areas you missed or underestimated.
Furthermore, I learned to make the most of every opportunity. In Evan’s words “Hustle while waiting.” He uses the example of how he had a photo shoot with a photographer but he arrived at the destination before the photographer. As a result, he decided to respond to emails and comments on his YouTube videos to make the most out of the waiting time.