This post is part of a series:
In this post, I want to talk about what my goal for my YouTube channel is and, more importantly, why I want to pursue it.
Definition of the goal
The goal is pretty straightforward, and it can be easily stated, namely: I want to reach 1,000,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
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Okay, so that’s the goal. And now, let’s get to the more important part: Why do I actually want to pursue this goal?
Reasoning for pursuing the goal
And the answer to that question is also pretty straightforward, namely: I want to reach 1 million subscribers because I want to be happy.
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So, why do I think that having 1 million subscribers would make me happy?
Well, there are certainly many things that can influence one’s happiness.
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And it’s probably difficult to say what all those things exactly are and how much influence they have. However, one thing that we can be fairly sure about, that it is important, is your work.
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And that’s simply because for the fact alone that so much time of your life is spent at work. So, it stands to reason that it, overall, has a big impact on your happiness level.
Okay, so if that’s the case, then the logical next question to ask is: What makes work fulfilling and satisfying so that it ultimately leads to happiness?
And based on the books Drive by Daniel H. Pink and So good they can’t ignore you by Cal Newport, the answer to that question seems to be something called self-determination theory. It states that there are three components of work that make it worthwhile and fulfilling.
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So, those are the three components of fulfilling work. And out of those three things, you have the most direct control over mastery. You can’t just demand, for example, to be put in charge of an important project at your work (i.e. get more autonomy), if you don’t have the necessary skills. Likewise, you can’t just demand, for instance, to be part of a company that is doing something worthwhile (i.e. get more purpose), if you don’t have the necessary skills.
But what you can do, is to simply pick something that interests you (in my case: data science) and then put in time and effort to become good at it.
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If you do that, then you will already get one component of fulfilling work, namely mastery.
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On top of that, you can leverage it to get the other two components as well. For example, if you are really good at something, then you are actually more likely to be put in charge of an important project. Or if you are really good at something, then you can more easily switch to a company that is doing something worthwhile.
So, after all, my goal is not really to reach an arbitrary number of followers on a social media platform. My true goal is to gain mastery at data science.
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And since teaching is one of the best ways to learn (and thereby gain mastery), I decided to start a YouTube channel where I try to explain my understanding of data science concepts. And now, I will simply use the number of subscribers as a proxy for my level of mastery. Because if many people decide to follow me and my content, then that must mean that I am, at least, somewhat good at what I do.
And then, having at one point (hopefully) reached 1 million subscribers, I should definitely be able to make a living with that. And if that’s the case, then (in contrast to a regular job) I would have complete autonomy over what I do and how I do it. So, what I choose to spend my time on in terms of what topics I want to learn or what projects I want to do. And also, how I spend my time. Meaning, I could structure my day however I want. So that’s how I could leverage my mastery to gain more autonomy in my life.
And with regards to the third component of fulfilling work, namely purpose, having reached 1 million subscribers would mean that I have helped a lot of people to learn more about data science. That, in and of itself, is already a great purpose. But on top of that, having gained some mastery in that field, I am then also more capable of actually contributing to a purpose or cause that might become important to me in the future. Because, at the moment, I don’t know yet what that specific purpose could be. So that’s how I could also leverage my mastery to gain more purpose in my life.
So, in conclusion, reaching 1 million subscribers would mean that I gained mastery at data science, which I could then leverage to get more autonomy and purpose in my life. And this would mean that I would have fulfilling and worthwhile work which is an important contributor to one’s happiness. So, that’s why I want to reach 1 million subscribers.
But, what makes me actually think that I am able to reach that goal?
Reasoning for being able to reach the goal
Well, the most important thing for gaining subscribers is to provide value. And in the context of educational videos, “providing value” means, in my opinion, providing helpful and clear explanations.
And, as of November 23rd 2020, I have created 50 videos, so far. With that, I have reached a little bit over 1,700 subscribers and I got almost 150,000 views in total. So, apparently, I have provided, at least, some kind of value. Therefore, if I just keep producing videos (eventually hundreds of them), then, I think, it is basically inevitable that the channel keeps growing.
My rational goes like this:
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If I am able to get one thousand subscribers, then I can also get a couple of thousands of subscribers. And if I can get that many subscribers, then I can also get ten thousand subscribers. And if I can get ten thousand subscribers, then I can also get a couple of tens of thousands of subscribers and so on. So, that’s why I think I am able to reach 1 million subscribers.
But, the really cool thing about this is that, even if I ultimately don’t reach that goal, at a very minimum, I will gain mastery at data science in the process of trying to achieve that goal. And together with the projects that I have built along the way and the following that I amassed along the way, I can leverage that mastery to get a regular job in the field of data science. And that job will then probably also provide a good amount of autonomy and purpose.
So, there is nothing really to lose here. There is only something to gain. And that’s also a reason why I want to pursue this goal.
And with that, we have reached the end of this post. And in the next post, I will talk about the first big project that I want to undertake in the context of pursuing that goal.