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Steve Aoki, Lilly Singh, Cassey Ho, and Julius Dein

Make Your Dreams a Reality

"You get respect in culture by finishing your projects.” - Steve Aoki

Do you have dreams you want to have come true? Of course you do. We all do.

The hardest thing is to start taking action. But ultimately, your dreams will only become a reality if you start taking those first steps.

In life, it’s never too early or too late to get going – but you need to get going. Also, understand that your dreams will change.

When I was a kid, I didn’t dream of being a podcast host or having my own Facebook Watch show. I dreamed of being a football player.

As I got older, and injuries kept me from playing pro ball, my dreams changed and I found my true calling.

Even though I still love sports (both watching and playing) I can’t imagine my life any other way. I look forward to sitting down in front of a microphone and helping you, and other people like you, who also want to achieve greatness.

To discuss more about making your dreams become a reality, I brought you another mashup from masters like Steve Aoki, Lilly Singh, Cassey Ho and Julius Dein.

“To have a certain level of success, you have to be obsessed.” - Lilly Singh  

They give some powerful insights into how they make their dreams come true. I put a lot of thought into this, and wanted to make sure you heard from a wide variety of fields.

We have wisdom from an amazing musician/DJ, a comedian/YouTuber, a health fitness guru, and a world class magician.

On this episode of The School of Greatness, they break down their steps to achieving their dreams. They talk about the struggles, and steps they took to get to where they are today.

Be ready on this one, and get keep a pen handy. I know you’ll get a lot of information out of this one that you can apply to any industry.

This is powerful stuff guys.

Get ready to hear what it really takes to make dreams come true, on Episode 683.

“You can follow your passion and find something you’re happy with.” - Cassey Ho  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Steve made his decisions when he was younger (7:15)
  • Ways you can find your culture (9:27)
  • Where true value lies (11:57)
  • Why you need to fill your own void (14:08)
  • The power of YouTube (15:44)
  • The importance of being a hustler (17:18)
  • How Cassey got into being an entrepreneur (20:37)
  • How Cassey finds her trainers (24:42)
  • What made Julius get into making videos (25:46)
  • The steps to success for Julius (31:22)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Steve Aoki, Lilly Singh, Cassey Ho, and Julius Dein

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                 This is episode number 683, Make Your Dreams A Reality.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Tom Bradley said, “The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”

And Martin Luther King Jr said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Welcome to today’s episode, it’s all about Making Your Dreams A Reality. We’ve got some powerful people that I want to bring light to. And I know you have big dreams that you’ve been wanting to accomplish, we all do. I hear this all the time, “Lewis, how do I achieve this in my life?”

“How do I launch this thing?”

“I’ve got a dream of being this, what are the steps?”

And sometimes the hardest part is taking that first step. It’s the fear, it’s the unknown, it’s the anxiety. “Well, what if I fail? What if this all goes wrong and what if people make fun of me?” And that’s why I wanted to bring you a new interview series, with entrepreneur creative masters, who shared what they did to make their dreams a reality.

In this episode you’ll hear wisdom from Steve Aoki, the iconic and world renowned DJ; Lilly Singh, one of the most influential people on the internet; Cassey Ho, one of the most influential fitness icons of the decade; and Julius Dein, the magician who has over 20 million fans online, from around the world.

Get ready for this one, because I know it will inspire you to take the action you need, have the belief in yourself and take that first step. And again, this is all about How To Make Your Dreams A Reality.

But before we dive in, I want to give a quick shout out to those who are attending the Summit of Greatness, our annual event, where the entire community comes together. It’s happening very soon, October 4 through 6, Columbus, Ohio.

If you don’t have your tickets, yet, go to summitofgreatness.com right now, the price is going up very soon! Check out the speaker line up, it will blow your mind who we have coming to speak, and we’ve got a couple of other surprises! So, stay tuned for that announcement, but get your tickets now!

Bring your friends, this is one of the most fun weekends of the year! It’s one of the most inspiring events you’ll ever go to! We do things different at the Summit of Greatness. That’s why people keep coming back, and we’re going to have an amazing audience of influencers, change makers and conscious achievers just like yourself.

Go to summitofgreatness.com right now, and get a ticket for yourself and a friend. And if you guys want a chance to be on The School of Greatness Podcast, my new talk show, Inspiring Life With Lewis Howes, is on Facebook Watch right now. It is blowing up! People are watching it from all over the world, and it is going bonkers right now!

We’re doing a contest that you can enter for free, all you need to do is go to lewishowes.com/win, you opt in for free, you just need to watch the episode on Inspiring Life, on Facebook, we’ll give you the instructions there, share it with a friend, and you are entered in the contest, where we’ll fly you out, pay for your travel from anywhere in the world to come to Los Angeles, put you up in a hotel for a few nights, you’ll have dinner with me, and a very special guest.

I’m going to give you a Greatness $1,000 Swag Bag, you’re going to come on The School of Greatness Podcast, we’re going to hear from you, you’re going to come on here. Five lucky winners are going to come on the show and we’re going to give you some other special surprises as well. So, make sure to check that out as well, at lewishowes.com/win.

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And without further ado, let’s dive into this episode about How To Make Your Dreams A Reality.

* * *

Steve Aoki:                      One thing I learned, especially when I was in high school, and I’ve said this before, many times, is the hard core music scene that I got introduced to, that became my life, that became my lifestyle, every decision that I made was all based on the fundamentals of this hard core scene.

Even the food I ate, I became vegetarian, because that’s what they did, they would talk about animal rights, and I got into that. And it was all really based on passion and community. It’s like, you have to be really into what you’re saying and doing and be educated on what you’re saying and doing, and learn some instruments and play the music.

And play the music of that culture. Essentially you’re a master of the culture, and the way you get respect in that culture is by finishing your projects, whether it’s a song, whether it’s playing a show, whether it’s putting on a show for other bands, so that scene can prosper and there’s an ecosystem.

So, it’s all about making the ecosystem of that community healthy. And the more you do that, the more that you’re able to make it healthy, the more respect you get. So it’s not about, “Oh, I just walked in with the shoes that no one else has,” or, “the bike that everybody wants.” The more of that element that you bring to the table, the less cool you are.

You’re cooler if you actually go, “I’m vegetarian and I stopped wearing leather shoes.” You made a stance, you made something that’s like a sacrifice. Or, “I’m putting on a show, and all these bands are coming,” and, “Wow! You put on the show? That’s awesome!”

“I started a band and I’m playing, and I’m representing the sound.” Or, “I made a Zee and I interviewed four bands and I went to Kinko’s and I made the Zee and now I’m passing them out to all the different people.”

It’s almost like a religion in a way, where you’re spreading that goodwill, and it’s not about financial reward as well. There is no financial reward in what I’m talking about here, it’s all about believing in a culture, and being rewarded by spreading that culture and building that healthy ecosystem of that culture.

So, in essence, that culture doesn’t have to be music. That culture could be in a book club, or in a chess club, or in something that drives you. Because another thing is, as well, I talked to some people who were, like, “I don’t know what my passions are.” I talked to Tom Bilyeu from Inside Quest, as well, like, “How do you find your passion? What gets you there if you don’t know what it is?”

And you just have to keep trying yourself, and see what pulls you, what’s pulling you to a certain place. And then, meeting up with those people, that community, and finding out ways, because we all are smart and we all have different ways of thinking about how to get more people involved in what we do.

The idea of being a pusher is a bad thing, but in this case it’s a good thing. So, whenever I could push positive lifestyle and health and wellbeing, I feel good about myself. It’s like Christmas, when you actually give gifts, it feels much better that to receive.

It’s weird because when I think about the times when things weren’t happening, and I didn’t really look at it as sacrifice. I guess, in retrospect it’s sacrifice, because you were sacrificing time and you’re not getting paid, but it’s not a sacrifice to you.

Lewis Howes:                 It’s an investment.

Steve Aoki:                      Yeah, it’s an investment, but you don’t think of it as an investment either, you think about it… It’s just different, like when I’m going back to the Hardcore community, it’s like when we put on shows in our living room, we never took a dime, we just spent all this time getting people to know about what we did, and once we got the ball rolling, we were on a roll, bringing all these artists in.

We never took a dime for any of these shows, and we always had people stay over and I guess you could call it a sacrifice. But it really wasn’t. It was a real love for what we were doing.

Lewis Howes:                 When was it, about ten years ago?

Steve Aoki:                      Yeah, that was about fifteen years ago.

Lewis Howes:                 Fifteen years ago and you were doing these weekly parties in your apartment with a few other guys, right? That you lived with?

Steve Aoki:                      Yeah, right. We’d have over four hundred bands playing. But it was some bands that became bands that everyone knows, like Jimmy Eat World, a lot of hardcore bands. A lot of the bands that were willing to play in a living room.

Lewis Howes:                 How many people could you cram in there?

Steve Aoki:                      Oh, forty people.

Lewis Howes:                 Forty people.

Steve Aoki:                      Yeah, but it felt like a lot more, because the energy was pretty wild.

Lewis Howes:                 Electric, yeah!

Steve Aoki:                      So, like, for me as well, I’m DJ-ing, obviously, to a much larger audience, but I find a value in playing in front of five people. I played in front of five people many times, as a band, you know. Because sometimes we would do tour, and we would play in houses, basements, a warehouse that was abandoned, with a generator.

Lewis Howes:                 What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself, playing in front of those five, ten, twenty people rooms for years, I’m assuming, before anything ever picked up? What’s the biggest lesson you learned about going through that process, that journey?

Steve Aoki:                      It’s connection. It’s like, having a real connection with people and looking them in the eye and actually communicating. Actually, after the shows, we’d hang out with them. Like, those five people that came to the show, I’d want to know them.

Like, “You came, you spent money, you drove all the way to my show, there’s only four of you, five of you, ten of you here, let’s hang out! Let’s do something. I want to know about you and what your scene’s about.”

And then building a network, and actually treating them as peers; not as fans so much as peers. Because I am a fan as much as them. I was those people when I was a teenager, and I’m still those people at other shows. I’m in the crowd and if I’m really attracted to a message, or a sound, I’m always a fan.

That’s another thing I’ve learned, is that you can’t forget about the fact that the reason why I do it is because I am a fan, and we’re all at the same level. That fifteen-year-old kid that’s up front screaming, or balling their eyes out, or their energy, I’m just looking at them, like, “I was you. I was you, and I still am you.”

And I’m so happy that they don’t give a f**k about anybody else or what they’re thinking. Because I was that kid in the front, screaming, wanting to sing along and be connected to the bands, and when the bands and artists connected with me, it changed my life!

So, I always wanted to be that, and like, hey, remember we are emotional beings, and we’re here to express this connection.

* * *

Lilly Singh:                       I don’t want to fill anyone’s void, you know, I think Humble and I learned this when we were in Italy with the honour of talking to Theroux and he said something that really impacted me. When Humble was asking him, Humble said something like, “I want to fill the André 3000 void. That’s what I want my music to be.”

And Theroux said, “You should fill the Humble the Poet void.”  And I was like, “Ooh!” and me and Humble talk about that all the time, and that got me thinking where, I don’t want to fill the void, I don’t want people to be, like, “Oh, yeah, you could be the next Mindy Kaling.” They’re just saying that because I’m also a brown girl.

I don’t want people to be, like, “Yeah! You could be Amy…” No, I want to fill the Lilly Singh void. I want to be the best version of myself, that gives me goosebumps. I want to make little Lilly get goosebumps when she looks at my success. That’s what I want it to be.

Lewis Howes:                 I love the dedication that you had. I’m just going to read it. “Dedicated to the person I was six years ago. I told you to keep going, thanks for listening.” It kind of reminds me of Matthew McConaughey’s speech.

Do you remember seeing his speech? Was it the Oscar? Where he was like, “My inspiration is myself three years from now, and chasing that guy who is going to achieve those things that I want to achieve.”

And it’s like, “What do I need to do now that’s going to make that happen?” And always chasing myself, not someone else. So I think it’s cool that you dedicated to that.

Lilly Singh:                       Yeah, that dedication, I was thinking long and hard about the dedication. I thought, “Of course, I want to dedicate it to my mom, I want to dedicate it to these people.” But the moment the acknowledgements came, I’m like, “Cut the BS, the person that you should actually dedicate it to, that actually got me here, is the person that was like, “I feel like c**p, I’m still going to get up tomorrow.”

When I was in my last year of university, I discovered YouTube, which did not exist when I was younger, and I remember watching these videos, thinking, “There’s people in their rooms, making videos and people are watching them?!” Like, “What is happening here?!”

And there was a few creators in my community that had a few videos, and I didn’t really think anything of it, I thought it was just them. Then when I went more into YouTube, then I saw, “No, wait, people all over the world are making these videos, and this is a thing!”

And I spontaneously, one day, put up a video online and thought nothing of it. It was not even comedy, it was so far from who I am today, it was actually a spoken word piece about religion.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, I heard you took it down later, right?

Lilly Singh:                       I took it down, not because it sucked, because I had many sucky videos up. I took it down because it just did not represent who I am any more. But it was so awkward, I was so uncomfortable in it, and, as bad as it was, I just fell in love with the fact that I could write whatever I wanted, say whatever I wanted, edit it however I wanted, promote it however I wanted, and no person around me impacted that success.

There was no one else I had to rely on, I learned how to do everything myself, and that I fell in love with. And so, without thinking, I posted a second video, that was comedy, it was based on a linguistics argument I had with my friend, and I posted another one, and another one.

And then suddenly I found myself thinking, well, how can I get better? How can I learn how to edit more? How can I write better? Just like the fruit bowl. Just like the fruit bowl! And then it snowballed into this brand and career.

Lewis Howes:                 The quote about, “The universe might respect the law of attraction, but it respects a good hustle even more.” I really love that. Was there a point earlier where you weren’t a hustler? Or was it, like, even when you were five you were always hustling? And then, how do you sustain the hustle, for people who feel like, “Man, that just seems exhausting.”?

Lilly Singh:                       There was a point in my life where I was not a hustler. Yeah! It was that point in my life at the end of university, when I was super sad. If anyone had met me during that time, they would not have recognised me as who I am today.

I literally got up at… I mean, I still wake up at 3pm sometimes if I go to sleep really late. I’m just going to be honest, my sleep schedule’s a hot mess. But, I had absolutely no goals. I woke up with no purpose, literally a walker from the walking dead. Did not care, didn’t care to accomplish anything.

I didn’t care at all about how the fruit bowl looked, I was a different person. But, prior to that, I do have to say, everything in my life, when I look back, has been this need to do my best, and the greatest example is, I remember I used to work at Harvey’s, which is a Canadian fast [food restaurant]. I think your equivalent might be Hardee’s here in America.

That was my first job I worked at, at a fast food restaurant, and I remember there was a down time, and the store was empty, and so I was, like, “Great, I’m going to refill the cutlery.” And I was doing stuff, and it did not occur to me that everyone else was just chilling. They were just looking at me fill these forks, and I remember hearing someone say this, and it was the most shocking thing I’ve ever heard.

They were like, “You have just always got to do something. You’re always working.” And I’m like, “Wait, are you guys not?” And it was so shocking, but I just didn’t realise that that was a thing that people did. Like, they just did not do something.

And so I really think it’s just something embedded within me, that I haven’t completely figured out why, it’s just always been this need to do things and be productive.

Lewis Howes:                 Well, I mean, you look at the results, and the results don’t lie. You’ve generated certain results.

Lilly Singh:                       Nor do hips.

Lewis Howes:                 They do not! Do your hips lie?

Lilly Singh:                       Not at all. Never.

Lewis Howes:                 Alright. Show me later. Like, latino dance moves.

I mean, the results don’t lie, and you’ve created specific results in your life, because of this level of energy and hustle that’s been consistent. I think, if people don’t want to generate great results, then they can take a break and they can pause and not be productive in certain things, consistently, and they’re not going to get those type of results. So, it all depends of what we want.

Lilly Singh:                       It all depends on what we want. And I think the danger of, not the danger, but something I know people think after hearing this conversation, is they’ll think, “Well, that’s very unhealthy. That’s an unhealthy lifestyle balance.” People say that to me all the time.

A lot of my friends are like, “You’re always working! Just come out with us!” And here’s the thing, if I’m really honest, to have a certain level of success, I do believe you do have to be obsessed with it. You know? You have to be obsessed with it.

Lewis Howes:                 You have to be! You cannot win a championship in any sport at the highest level, without being obsessed about it.

Lilly Singh:                       So it depends what your goals are. If your goal is to be successful, but then also have weekends, and also have a certain standard of relationship and family, that’s not wrong, that is your goal, and you do that.

But when people say that to me, my goals are, I want to be exceptionally good at this one thing, and that is going to require a certain level of dedication. And that is the reality of the situation.

Lewis Howes:                 Obsessiveness.

Lilly Singh:                       Obsessiveness. And Duane’s a great example. Like, obsession is waking up at four and working out, no matter where he is. That is an obsessive level of commitment.

Lewis Howes:                 And he gets incredible results.

Lilly Singh:                       Exactly!

* * *

Cassey Ho:                      When I was in middle school, well, actually, one thing you need to know about me is that I can’t eat chocolate. Not that I don’t want to…

Lewis Howes:                 You physically can’t.

Cassey Ho:                      I really actually want to eat chocolate, I just can’t. I’m what you call a super taster. So, for me, arugula, coffee, chocolate, all that kind of stuff, tastes extremely bitter to me.

Lewis Howes:                 What about milk chocolate, or white chocolate?

Cassey Ho:                      I can’t. White chocolate’s not chocolate!

Lewis Howes:                 I love white chocolate! Oh my gosh!

Cassey Ho:                      That was a trick question! So, what I would do, my sister and I would go trick-or-treating and we’d take all the candies together and then I would create chocolate creations out of them, then I would bring them to my friends at school, and they liked it.

So, I was like, “Well, if you like it, then you’re probably going to buy it.” So then I started packaging them, 25c for three little balls. And then they went crazy for it, so I started making value packs and adding cookies and rocky road bars and stuff.

And I had my first business partner in middle school. In high school, all the other middle schools had heard about it, apparently, and so everyone was like, “Oh! You’re Cassey the Cookie Girl, right?” And I said, “Yup! That’s me!”

And I carried this huge bag with me to school every single day, and then some kids were so addicted – I mean, obviously, it was sugar – that they were like, “Cassey, please let me sell for you!” So I had five student employees under me, selling. So we had this massive thing going across campus.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow! You were like a drug dealer! Cookie drug dealer!

Cassey Ho:                      Exactly! Imagine being in Spanish class and people, underneath the table going like, this, because that’s how it was. Passing through, like, fifteen hands and getting to the next person.

Lewis Howes:                 Were they that good?

Cassey Ho:                      Oh yeah! Butter cream cookie sandwiches in M&M flavour, chocolate chip, anything, sugar, snickerdoodle.

Lewis Howes:                 Do you still make them?

Cassey Ho:                      I don’t.

Lewis Howes:                 I need some of those right now!

Cassey Ho:                      You know? We should do that! We should totally do that! So the crazy thing is, it got so big that the school had to shut me down, I got in trouble.

Lewis Howes:                 No way!

Cassey Ho:                      Oh, yeah, for sure! But that story got me the full ride scholarship to college. So it ended up paying off.

Lewis Howes:                 A full ride scholarship.

Cassey Ho:                      Uh-huh! A full ride scholarship, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 Living the dream! And your parents were happy with that then.

Cassey Ho:                      They were happy with that, but they can always find something wrong with everything that I do.

Lewis Howes:                 Of course, right, they’re always judging you. Is it cool that your childhood dream was to be in fashion, right? A fashion designer, and now you have a fitness fashion line? Isn’t that right?

Cassey Ho:                      Yeah, that is so cool!

Lewis Howes:                 So do you feel like you’re fulfilling this childhood dream?

Cassey Ho:                      I do! And it’s truly amazing, because my dad, when I told him I wanted to be a fashion designer, I think I probably was in middle school or something, and I had binders and binders full of evening gown designs and sketches and stuff. He told me, literally to my face, “You will not succeed, you’ll make no money and you’ll have no friends.”

That’s actually in my book. I wrote that in, and I will never let him go for it, and I want everyone to know, because that could have broke me right there. And I did cry. And it did break me, but it didn’t break me for the rest of my life.

But I remember, because I know how I can take that and turn it into something much better. So, I proved to my parents and to myself, that you can follow your passion and do something you’re happy with.

Because, for them, I mean, I understand they really wanted me to be financially stable, and all that kind of stuff, and I’m first generation Asian-America, so they’re coming from Vietnam, and they had to deal with the war, and all that stuff, so I understand.

But I don’t understand imposing your dreams upon mine, and not letting me at least try. Because this vibrancy inside of me, this desire to just make it, I don’t think they ever really understood how hard and how far we go to actually make it happen.

Lewis Howes:                 Right, right! Now, so, would you say you’ve achieved your childhood dream, then?

Cassey Ho:                      I would say yes, but then I think I am also working on it every day, to make it even bigger, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 What would you say is your adulthood dream?

Cassey Ho:                      My adulthood dream? I would love to see the clothing line in stores. I think maybe I’ll work on that, and my other dream is to make sure that POP Pilates is a huge group fitness format across the world.

And we have a great start this year, we’re trying to certify 2,000 trainers, by 2015, 4,000 by Spring, 2016 and that will really bring us to the next level. I mean, everyone will be doing POP Pilates and 24 Fitness. It will be so cool!

Lewis Howes:                  Oh, my goodness! Now, how are you finding these trainers, or how did you create this training for them?

Cassey Ho:                      I’m working with NEFC as my certifying body, and so, together, we’ve created the manual and everything to make that happen, but my current core team of master trainers are beyond incredible. And, you know, it’s interesting, they weren’t fans of Yogalates to begin with, or maybe some of them, a few.

But a lot of them were already really seasoned group fitness instructors, they’d been teaching Zumba and Pyo and all these things, for years. So, to impress them, that takes something as well. And I wasn’t sure, you’re never sure what people think.

And so this group, this core of fifteen people are coming together, and let me tell you, at the summit it was magic! I can only use that word, because there was something swirling in the air that wasn’t just learning the format, learning the choreography and that kind of stuff. It was just this passion to bring this format to people to help them change their lives, and have a really fun time doing it.

* * *

Julius Dein:                     So the first video that I made wasn’t even magic. It was actually like a snake prank. I just took a fake snake and I put it on people in London, on South Bank, and I made a little compilation of it, posted it online and it just started getting hundreds of thousands of shares, and the video now has 50 million Facebook views.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow! When was this? A year ago?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, this was about a year ago, a year and a bit ago.

Lewis Howes:                 Okay, so it wasn’t even a magic trick, the first video.

Julius Dein:                     Right, right, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 And then when did you try to do the magic style of viral video?

Julius Dein:                     So, magic style, well, I’d basically been incorporating magic the whole way. Bits and pieces of magic, kind of more prank, sketch orientated videos, and then my first viral magic video was called, ‘The Invisible Chair Illusion’.

Lewis Howes:                 That’s where you sit down on one leg, or whatever?

Julius Dein:                     Exactly, and then I can lean back, it’s like the Matrix.

Lewis Howes:                 I always wondered how that trick happens.

Julius Dein:                     Aha! Well, keep wondering, my friend!

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, always wondered about that. I don’t know if I saw, I think I saw a video of someone else doing that trick, I don’t think it was with you. They just sit down and they’re reading a paper.

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, that’s exactly what I did, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 So you did that trick?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, I did that trick and then it trended, I think I got a half a million views on YouTube, and then then got twenty, thirty million views on Facebook.

Lewis Howes:                 Just doing it in different locations and getting reactions from the people walking by, homeless people, or whatever.

Julius Dein:                     Exactly.

Lewis Howes:                 Interesting. So that was about a year ago as well?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, about a year ago.

Lewis Howes:                 Right after the snake trick?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, when it started the social media game, I was a production machine. I was third year of university, I’m twenty-three now, I was twenty-two back then, or maybe just turning twenty-two, and I was intent on building my social media profile.

So, I didn’t have a lot of money in the bank, but I would hire videographers on Craigslist, or Gumtree for, like, fifty to a hundred dollars, they’d come out with me for the day, we’d come up with a concept, we’d go out and film it all day, have a laugh, and then I would pick the footage, go home, edit it up and I would post it online the same day.

It was the drive I had back then. And I was making three, four videos a week. So I was really a production machine, I was production, editing, protagonist, you know, the actor in the video, so, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 Creating the story line, creating everything.

Julius Dein:                     Exactly, yeah, exactly. And then I had the situation where one of my videos would just pop and then, the thing about social media is, once one thing goes viral, your audience would just come. It was crazy!

Lewis Howes:                 So, the first videos weren’t going as viral maybe, it sounds like?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 How long were you doing these three to four videos a week until one popped?

Julius Dein:                     I’d put it at about six, seven months. Six months of nothingness.

Lewis Howes:                 What’s nothingness? A couple of thousand views, or ten thousand views, maybe?

Julius Dein:                     A couple of thousand views, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 On Facebook or YouTube or both?

Julius Dein:                     This is on both, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 So a couple of thousand views.

Julius Dein:                     Well, actually, I’d say it was a couple of thousand views, yeah. So, now, shall I tell you about my strategy? How I blew up?

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah! Well, first off, I mean, yes, I want to hear that. So you did the snake video first, which got how many views?

Julius Dein:                     About thirty, forty million.

Lewis Howes:                 And then after that you started doing three to four videos a week for months, or what?

Julius Dein:                     No, no, no. I was doing three… No actually, I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t the snake video that went viral first. It was a prank video with a girl, that was the first video that popped. But it was basically the same time as the snake video. They were within about, two, three days between.

The first video that went absolutely bonkers, was prank I did with this girl who was my girlfriend at the time, and then I posted the video online and that’s what popped.

Lewis Howes:                 Got it! This was after six months of you doing videos that weren’t doing anything?

Julius Dein:                     They were doing a little bit, bits and pieces, yeah. I was getting some traction, but I had about ten thousand likes, throughout.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, it was a grind though.

Lewis Howes:                 Six months, trying, working every day, ten thousand fans, ten to fifty thousand views, maybe, per video, max.

Julius Dein:                     Right, right, exactly.

Lewis Howes:                 What kept you continuing to do this when you weren’t making any money, your audience wasn’t growing, you weren’t seeing the views grow? Why did you keep doing this grind of ten, twelve hours a day?

Julius Dein:                     Well, it’s the social media, building a following is priceless, you can’t buy a social media following. So I saw the value in that, I still do. And the fact that I was getting some positive comments.

Lewis Howes:                 It drove you enough.

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 You were in college, you didn’t have too many responsibilities, you were like, let’s do this for a while.

Julius Dein:                     Honestly, there was a level of boredom. It was, absolutely. I was at university, right, I don’t know how it is in America, but in the UK, you sometimes get six, seven, eight hours a week of lecture time, but my degree was relatively easy. I had a lot of free time.

I had some options. I could either go to the societies or the clubs, but I was like, “I really want to build this social media, I’ve got some magic gigs, I understand the magic world,” and I spent a year in UCLA, so I met the kind of Vine community.

So, when I got back to the UK from my year abroad, I was intent on building what they had already done. It’s crazy, these people in L.A.

Lewis Howes:                 They’re machines.

Julius Dein:                     They’re machines! They built fantastic incomes and fantastic careers off their hard work in their childhood and in their young adulthood. So, when I got back to London, I was, like, “Right, I really should have been making videos.”

So, I just did it, and I was driven, and I think it was a mixture of free time, a bit of boredom, and good fitness. I think, if you’re going to the gym every day, and you’re eating super healthy, your mind is in a different place.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, you have creative ideas running all the time and you want to go create.

Julius Dein:                     Exactly, exactly, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 And you wanted to build something. But it still took you some time to kind of figure it out, this six month window of time where you weren’t really doing much, but it was kind of like your testing ground. You were seeing what worked, what didn’t work.

Then you figured out the model, it sounds like. You did a couple of videos that went viral, and is that when you were like, “Okay, now I see all the elements that need to be in one video for it to have the potential to get some traction.”? Is that when you recognised, or had an aha moment?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, so let me give you the run down. So, I had no followers, no likes. Step one. Get my friends and family to like my page. You know, message everyone, like, “Hey did you like my page?”

Lewis Howes:                 Beg them, “Please, I don’t have anything cool, but do it anyway.”

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, and it was funny because I sent everyone that question. The same, copied and pasted in. “Hey, could you like my page, please?”

Lewis Howes:                 I’ve done that before, too, man!

Julius Dein:                     Exactly, and it’s funny because some of these people hit me up a year and a half later, and like, “Oh, hey, I’m doing this fundraiser,” and I just see that the previous thing is me asking them that question. It’s interesting, that.

But that was step one. And then, step two, which was going to take me from about a thousand likes to seven thousand likes, overnight, what I would do, I was thinking, “How can I make my videos get some traction?”Okay, so on YouTube it was about Reddit.

Trying to get on the front page of Reddit, I’d have fake proxy accounts doing upvotes and stuff, which is hustling my video, it’s got about a million views. But more Facebook orientated, what I would do is, I would reach out to pages that have followings, and there are so many pages on Facebook with 200,000 likes, 400,000 likes, et cetera, as there are YouTube channels with 200,000 subscribers, et cetera.

So, I would basically message hundreds of them, and say, “Hey! Got a great video! Can you share my video?” And the way I would find these pages is, I would go onto another viral page, and then I would click on all the shares.

So, say it’s got 100,000 shares on a video, I would just choose one person, and they were public profiles, because they appear in the shares. And I would go to that person and scroll through their newsfeed, this random person somewhere in the world, and just see what stuff they had shared. And it’s usually from pages.

So then I would just find loads of random pages from around the world, through finding these random people from finding these random celebrities or viral pages, and I would send them the message, “Hey! I’ve got a great video! Can you share that video?”

And, I mean, I sent so many messages, I ended up getting blocked for a day. And what happened is, after sending a couple of hundred messages, I eventually got a response.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, you got ten, twenty different pages that are like, “Sure, I’ll share it out.” It’s interesting, isn’t it?

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, it wasn’t ten, twenty pages, but there were a few. Some asked for money, some did it from the kindness of their heart, or whatever reason, I’m not sure why they did it, but I got a page called Mayor Boss, he had five million followers.

Lewis Howes:                 Mare?

Julius Dein:                     Mayor, M.A.Y.O.R. space B.O.S.S.

Lewis Howes:                 Okay, Mayor Boss.

Julius Dein:                     He’s going to get an influx of messages now! And for some reason, on a thousand likes, I got a message from him, a month later, and he said, “Yeah, bro! Got you!” I’m like, “What?” And then I look at my pages and I’m refreshing and they’re just bombing up, the likes on my page.

Lewis Howes:                 Because he shared one video.

Julius Dein:                     He shared one of my videos, it got reshared, and when something gets reshared on Facebook, the traffic will just come back in, because your video will appear on the newsfeed with the like button next to it. So I went from a thousand to seven thousand likes overnight, and that was really what gave me the momentum.

Lewis Howes:                 Oh, when people share my videos, I’ll grow faster.

Julius Dein:                     Yeah, exactly, and I thought I’d made it. I was like, “Mum…”

Lewis Howes:                 “Seven thousand likes! Peace out!”

Julius Dein:                     “See you later guys!”

* * *

Lewis Howes:                 There you have it, my friends! We do things differently here, we’re all about bringing people together, elevating humanity and raising the level of consciousness, so that we can all be more, and feel more fulfilled along the process and the journey.

This is episode number 683, lewishowes.com/683, for the full show notes, and you can check out the full interviews of Steve Aoki, Lilly Singh, Cassey Ho, and Julius Dein as well. Back there we have all those links, so check that out.

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Guys, I’m so excited for what’s to come! This is a beautiful time of the year. It’s a time to complete, it’s a time to finish strong, and I’m so excited about what everyone is working on. We have a community called The Inner Circle, where thousands of people from around the world are a part of, and they’re sharing their wins, every single week.

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Music Credits:

Music Credit:

Escape by Hangover

We Were Infinite by Inukshuk

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