Evan Carmichael. Evan is a well-known name in online entrepreneurship communities. Evan has been an entrepreneur since 19, he built then sold a Biotech Software Company, At 22. He now runs a Youtube channel for entrepreneurs with 1.7M+ subscribers, wrote 4 books and speaks globally. He wants to solve the world’s biggest problem: how to untap people’s potential. He has set 2 world records, uses a trampoline and stand-up desk, owns Canada’s largest salsa dance studio and has a giant Doritos bag in front of him all day long to remind him that he’s stronger than the Doritos.
So welcome, Michael. We are so excited to have you here.
Thanks a lot, man. Let’s bootstrap dreams and make it happen.
Awesome. That’s great. So, let’s kick things off by you know, understanding your journey. How did you start your journey entrepreneurial journey at 19?
So I had a lot of entrepreneurial tendencies growing up. I, you know, sold my first I made my first 10 cents five cents by selling art when I was five years old. So to my next-door neighbor just drafted my younger sister with me, we made some art and sold it to my neighbor. But I did a lot of baseball cards and garage sales and all that stuff growing up, but I am what I now 39 am. Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn’t popular wasn’t a career option. And there was nobody in my life who was an entrepreneur. So I thought I wanted to be a banker because I liked working with money. And I had an opportunity when I was 19. The hardest decision in my life, either become an entrepreneur, own 30% of a company in biotech and make $300 a month or two Six-Figure jobs travel around the world doing the banking job that I thought I wanted. And I went down the entrepreneurial path because I didn’t want to live with the regret of not knowing. And haven’t looked back since never had a job ever since.
That’s awesome. That’s great. So did you face any early challenges? Did you make any early mistakes? When you started off?
Lots, I’m still making mistakes. Like, if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying. Then you’re just staying inside your comfort zone and you never going to win doing that. Um, I think my early mistakes were more around just not feeling like I was good enough. I felt it was too young. So I was 19 years old. I was selling to people who are, you know, two, three times my age, science was my worst subject and now I’m in a biotech software companies, I’m selling to scientists, and I felt like they’re not going to take me seriously. So I avoided the phone I avoided in-person meetings and everything, only by email and about the year in I realized they don’t actually care how old I am. All they care about is can I help them? Does my product provide value? And so I had to destroy that limiting belief that I was too young to have success.
Yeah, yeah, that’s so important to understand our own limiting beliefs and try to address them and get rid of them. That’s great. So, you know, in my opinion, entrepreneurship, success is all about your mindset. And it’s a very mental game rather than more, you know, tactical game. Obviously, you’re super successful. So I want to understand how your mindset is different than others. Like, again, have you drawn any distinctions there?
I think a couple of things really help and this is not just me, it’s what I’ve found in all these successful people. I’m still trying to get better at doing all these things myself. But first: Do the action. You get an idea. You got to do something about it. Successful people act. Without having full information. People who aren’t successful, they think, and they plan and they tinker and they’re perfectionist, and they never release anything. You have to be willing to release. So the shorter you can close that gap where you get an idea. And then you just go do something small on it doesn’t mean you go mortgage your home and start this business just because you thought about it today. But you have to do something today at the moment, as soon as you get the idea. Trust that your ideas are good. Yeah, trust that that idea that came to you is a good idea and then do something about it. Instead of just thinking to tinker, planning. Yeah. Second, expect failure. Expect it not to work, expect it to suck. Expect people to crap over your ideas, expect people to tell you that it’s never going to work out. I fail way more than I win. And that’s what you’ll find most successful people do. They get some wins, but most days, it’s just failure after failure after failure. And that’s part of the process. You have to be okay with that. It doesn’t mean that you fail as a human. It just means that that idea that version of your idea didn’t work out. And I think people take those failures too personally, they say, well, because my first video didn’t go viral, I suck as a human being. That that is not how successful people look at their business. And then if I had to give a third, I would say, just a belief in yourself that you can do it that you’re a genius that you have great skills, that your ideas are worthy that it’s going to work out that you can be different, even though your family, your friends, your community, you’re all doing something totally different. It takes a lot of belief in yourself to step outside, what most people are doing to chase down your dreams.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Now you brought up a very important one. And thanks a lot for that insight, you know that that’s really helpful. So you brought up two points, you know, expect failure. So how do you how do you train your mind to keep going in the face of failure, like you know, as you said, and I experienced it all the time in my own life, you know, there are many more failures than successes, but how do you suggest we keep going and, you know, encourage ourselves.
You tie your self-worth to the effort, not the result. You have to be proud of your effort. Where most of us tie our self-worth to winning, to the result. If you tie your self-worth, your self-confidence, yourself love to just win, then you’re only going to enter into games that you know you’re going to win at. Yeah. So then you play small for life. But if you tie yourself forth to the effort that you’re trying, are you proud of your effort like when you sleep tonight, when you put your head on the pillow tonight? Are you proud of what you try to do today? The effort? Yeah. And if you are, if that’s how you tell yourself worth and you’ll constantly take on new things, to keep stretching your effort. And so most days, you actually will fail most days you won’t actually get many results. But if you’re proud of your effort, every day you’re going to go create something amazing. I think that if you start something. So look at this, this interview in this channel, how many interviews Have you done for your channel?
Well, I’m proud to say this is the 50th.
50th! Alright! Happy anniversary. That’s great. So listen, this is better than the first one. Yeah. The first one, you had no idea what you’re doing. Like I know a lot some of these questions and we’ll see what happens. That’s, that’s, you’re supposed to suck. It doesn’t mean you suck as a human. It just means you didn’t know what you were doing. And you’re experimenting. People don’t experiment enough. Yeah. And now if you go, fast forward to Episode 500, wherever that’s going to be you look back on this one and say, Oh, I could have done so much better. Right? We’re constantly growing. We’re constantly evolving. And so I think you need to expect to suck you need to be proud of your efforts. You need to know that if you keep getting up and being proud of your effort, you’ll create something amazing. I think that if you get off and your first thing is amazing. You should have started five years ago. Like if your first interview was amazing and blew the doors off, you should have actually started that thing. Five years ago, if you don’t suck at the beginning, you should have started five years ago.
Sure enough, yeah. I mean, that’s so true. And, you know, as you put it, like, you know, I really go back and listen to the first few episodes, they really sucked. I was, you know, I was so nervous. And now it’s, you know, as you put it, like, you know, it’s the process itself has become enjoyable. So, you know, whether the results come in or not, the process itself is enjoyable. So, I think that’s what you were pointing out. Is that correct?
Yeah. And I love the word nervous that you use there. I think. I think nervous is a good thing. Yeah. I think if somebody doesn’t have something in their calendar, and the next month that makes them nervous that they hate their life. Yeah, I don’t think people want to just photocopy the same day over and over and over and over again. So if you have nothing in your calendar that makes you nervous then you just live in the same day over and over again and then that that’s most people I think, most people have their life. And so you want to inject something that makes you nervous, whether it’s starting a YouTube show a podcast or an interview, writing a book, trying out this new business, things that make you nervous or good?
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s true. I have realized that you know, the wind that you brought up earlier taking action is what, you know, people lack the most, like, you know, a lot of people have had, you know, aspirations and they have good plans. But I think one of the key ingredients missing is taking action and, and to your point, you know, thinking big and sort of scaring yourself and forcing yourself to, to go through this is the key, I think.
I think people are just afraid. They’re just afraid you don’t act because you’re afraid. You’re not actually afraid of failure. You’re afraid of failing in front of somebody. You’ll sing in the shower, but you won’t sing on the street. Yeah. Because you’re afraid of what people are going to think about you. Yeah. And I think conditioning yourself to what I call inoculate yourself against judgment. So that as soon as your hearts going, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, like I’m nervous. I’m afraid that’s a signal to go, you have to do it. Yeah.
And the interesting part also, what I’ve seen is, everybody feels inside, everybody feels the same way. Like we are all sort of afraid of other people’s judgment. And we are always judging ourselves as well. So we all we’re all sort of going in circles around in our heads with the same thoughts and feelings.
Constantly. And I don’t think it ever goes away. I think it just allows you to play on a bigger stage. It allows you to conquer bigger fears. This is every day, but you want to tackle it. So this morning, I did my first workout in three and a half months. I broke my neck while I was on tour in the US, and it’s been healing, it’s still not there yet. I have another two and a half months of recovery. And they said I couldn’t do anything strenuous because it obviously impacts my whole body. So today, it’s starting to feel better like okay, I’m going to do my first workout. Normally, when I do a workout, I’ll just be in shorts. That’s it because I create a lot of heat. And so I don’t have a shirt. I just do shorts. I’ve worked down three and a half months. So I’ve gained a little bit of weight. Yeah. And I was going to film part of my work out on Instagram. And I said I should put a shirt on because I’m embarrassed that I’ve gained a little bit of weight. And because that was my thought, then I had to go film it without the shirt off. Because you want to teach yourself to do the things that make you scared. So are some people listen, most people are going to care. Mostly we’re going to watch it and not care. Some people are maybe some people will make fun of me. Awesome. I may be some people will be inspired by awesome. But as long as you’re living your life by what other people think about you, then you’ll never do great things in your life.
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. Alright, so you know, as I said, you know, you find these ladders of success and you are at the top of your game. How has your mindset changed from your early, early years to now? I mean, you’re helping more people. You’re giving back. I mean, what are some of the changes that you notice inside your own mind as you go through this journey?
I think the biggest change probably has been that my journey matters, that sharing what I’ve gone through and what I deal with means something. I used to always think, well, who cares about me? I mean, I’m profiling Steve Jobs and the being Jane and Oprah Winfrey and like, all these people have done so much. Yeah, who cares about my story? Sure. I’ve built up a business and sold it but it’s nothing compared to what Steve Jobs did. But the number one request for a top 10 on my channel was me. Where’s the Evan Carmichael top 10 and I didn’t think it was worthy for the longest time. And then my friends, my fans and my family all surprised me one day on my birthday, and they made a video that was my first Evans top 10 Goals and they put it to my channel without me knowing. And it was great. And that was the first one we’ve got a bunch more sense but recognizing that your story has the power that your story is the journey for any entrepreneur out there listening and watching. That’s how you actually win. If you’re going up against the big competition, why somebody’s going to buy from you versus big competition that has history and branding and can offer a lower price point than you. Why would they buy from you because of your story because you care more than some big giant corporation? But I don’t know that you care more unless you are willing to share your story. And so being more willing to share my story, even though I’m an introvert, it doesn’t come across on doing interviews and this kind of thing, but I’m an introvert, I have no need to talk about myself. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t need the spotlight. But getting more comfortable doing that has been a big growth of the past. I don’t know x number of years.
That’s great. So what drives you now? What is what your true passion is? You know, you obviously are involved in many, many different ventures but what is your true passion?
I pulled from the light in the dark. Uh, so I think I think humans are built to serve. And if you’re not happy because you’re not serving either serving the world or serving the 25 closest people to you, who do you serve a purpose comes from your pain. So I struggled so much as an entrepreneur that now I want to help out other entrepreneurs. And so when I said to pull from the light in the dark, I pulled from the light in that I want to serve entrepreneurs, I want people not to struggle as much as I did in building my first business. And I know that I can have an impact and I want to do my best to be able to do that. That’s the light. The dark that I pulled from is I don’t want to live with regret. So I don’t want to be 95 and sit in my rocking chair and realize I could have done more. You know, I played small, I was afraid. And so I use both of those leavers to push me to action every day.
That’s great. So you brought up you know, this point about not being tied down to nine to five. So, you know a lot of people find security and sort of town in that world. But do you think you have to be a little bit crazy to be an entrepreneur to make a decision to sort of letting go of that security?
I think it’s only getting easier. Oh, yeah. I think every day it becomes easier to be an entrepreneur. I think if I’m looking at my parents coming back to my age, they’re just the opportunities weren’t there. You had to be crazy for my parents to be my age and start a business back when they were my age, it would have been crazy. Just the infrastructure wasn’t set up. You would have to have what your job go deep into debt by some building like it just it didn’t make sense. The idea now that you can make money from your cell phone is crazy. Yeah, like, parents don’t understand that. Like it’s just a different era. And so it’s only getting easier. The idea of being able to work part-time on your business and have a side hustle is only getting easier. And so I don’t think you have to be as crazy anymore. I think 15 years ago, you had to be crazy, crazy. And every day that’s come since it’s a little bit, there’s no reason why everybody can’t go and try. I think everybody should try. Not everybody needs to be a crazy, huge entrepreneur, what I think you won’t know until you try. And it’s never been easier to try. So keep your nine to five job if you like it. And then and then every night for an hour, try being an entrepreneur, and see how it goes for you. It’s possible. Yeah, and it’s never been, it’s never been easier. And good news. Tomorrow’s gonna be even easier.
Nice. All right, now let’s talk about some tactical things that you that you’ve shared and teach. So in your book, your own word, you talk about, you know, using one word, and selling values rather than features. And in that book, you’re using an example of a florist and, you know, he’s selling Tom. So tell us a little bit about that, you know, what is this concept of your one word?
Did you figure out your one word?
Did you figure out your one word?
And my one word is an adventure.
Adventure. Great. So this is how it works. People want to feel first before they ever listen to any advice you’re going to give, they want to feel first. And so you’re talking about bootstrapping entrepreneurs. The people who should come and listen to you are the ones who want to brace themselves for an adventure. Somebody wants more adventure in their life. They’re going to come to you if you do a good job of marketing that that way. So your question should be about adventure. Your mindset should be about adventure. Helping people get through the bootstrapping phase of building their business. Yeah. When you understand what your core value is, then you can build a life and the business around it. Yeah, understand that. It’s the feeling first. So in my content, I want people to believe in themselves. That’s my one word: believe. It’s always my if you want people to leave feeling as they believe in themselves a little bit more. I may not achieve what I may suck. Maybe I’m maybe this is the worst interview we’ve ever done. I don’t know. But it’s always my intent. That’s always my goal is to spread hope, belief. And so same thing for you if you want to spend more adventure, you know, somebody who’s afraid to be adventurous, I want to hold their hand and take that jump with them. I want to show them that as possible. I want to encourage them to be brave and be bold, and say yes to the adventures I had in them in their life. And that’s what people should come to your content expecting. And you bringing on guests who have that adventurous feeling will make you come alive. Yeah. Love it more than somebody else who’s afraid to take an adventure. Yeah, so having that branding allows people to want to subscribe to you instead of just listening to one interview. The one to subscribe because yes, I want that hit them adventure. I want that reminder every day to be a little bit more adventurous. That’s what will come to you. And I think everybody has their own one-word core value and when you bring that into your business, it allows you to track them more ideal customers to you.
Awesome. So do you think that understanding that core value is important for companies or even soul openers for the everlasting brand?
Absolutely. I mean, I think it always has been, I think if you look at most brands, they all have a list of core values. I’m not actually starting anything new. Everybody’s had core values. Go to any big company and look at what their core values are, they have this list of seven to 13 core values, promise they’re not living them. Go talk to anybody in the company will talk to the CEO of the company. Yeah. And ask them what your 13 core values are? And I bet that most CEOs couldn’t list all 13 without looking them up. Yeah, that’s the problem is you’re not living it. So if you’re not actually living your core values and you’re not making decisions for them, you’re not happy you’re not creating the right kind of products and services and atmosphere and company that you want. A big company’s a lot harder time doing this because if you’re trying to shift culture, you got to 10,000 employees, it’s a lot more difficult. If you are a solo entrepreneur, it allows for a lot of speedier growth. So for example, if your one word is an adventure, if the next step of your YouTube career, for example, is to hire an editor, you want to hire an editor who’s going to take charge of everything for you. Yeah, you should want to get an editor who believes in the adventure. You need an adventurous editor. If somebody it’s not just it’s not good enough for somebody just to have the technical skills. They can’t just learn how to put lower thirds in and do effects on this. They have to like an adventure. Because if they like adventure, one, they’re going to come up with way better ideas for what to do in the editing side because they’re tied to your mission. Yeah. And to they’re just gonna, they’re going to love doing their job a lot more and you’re going to love having them on board, as well. They will end up getting not just their minds, but you get their heart and soul. Most businesses aren’t clear on what their values are because most entrepreneurs aren’t clear. What their one word is. They don’t know. They haven’t done the exercise. Yeah, when you go through and you figure it out, it allows you then there’s nothing wrong with people who aren’t adventurous. But just don’t go work for you. You know, you’re going to want people who want to take adventures, that’s going to be the best culture for your business.
Okay, awesome. So, you know, earlier you mentioned the importance of taking action and being imperfect and just getting things done. And even if they are imperfect, so don’t you think that can that has a danger of leading us to mediocrity?
I think the opposite I think, I think people who, who are just stuck in perfection mode, they never create anything and then you perpetuate mediocrity. Yeah, I think the path through is by experimentation, is by releasing and then improving, releasing and then improving the release and then improving. So for example, if you look at what I do in terms of helping people believe themselves, you might look at someone like Tony Robbins. Yeah, right. I love Tony. We work with him for four years. On the channel so as a friend of the channel, I could easily say, well Tony, Tony Robbins already exists, he’s doing his thing. Should I not make my YouTube channel? Should I not write my book? Should I not do what I’m doing? Even though I’m not as perfect as Tony is? If I if I took that mindset then the 250 million + people who’ve seen my videos won’t have seen the videos, right? And so even though it’s not perfect yet the strive for perfection I love but it has to be combined with taking immediate action. I think if you don’t take action, that’s how you perpetuate mediocrity.
Yeah, yeah. So you take action, you accept imperfections and then you improve yourself along the way, right?
Always. Yeah, hundred percent.
Okay, now let’s talk about your mission. Your mission states, you want to untapped human potential. So tell us about that. That’s a, you know, huge statement. So tell us about that. You know, how did you come up with that mission and what are you doing about it?
First, I think everybody should have some kind of mission. I think I’m not a big believer in five-year goals or 10-year goals. I don’t think they actually serve you that well. But I think everybody has a mission, you need to have a guiding light, you need to have a compass for your going and your mission should be something so big that you’re never going to accomplish it. So I want to solve the world’s biggest problem. I don’t think the world’s biggest problems is cancer or poverty. I think the woman who solves cancer should have already solved it right now, but instead, she’s some account manager at a legal firm. Yeah, she’s just doing the wrong thing. I think everybody has Michael Jordan level talent. I think everybody’s a genius. Everybody watching I think you think you’re a genius. You have genius-level abilities at something. Yeah, most people either just they never find it or they don’t believe in themselves enough that they even have something and so they settle. They settle for mediocrity. They settle for the life they don’t like but they know. You know, there’s another gear you know, you’re capable of more but you’re stuck doing this thing that you don’t like. But you didn’t believe in yourself enough to chase it down. And so I think that’s the world’s biggest problem. And that’s what I wake up every day trying to take on.
That’s awesome. That’s great. Alright, so you also use this concept of the circle of potential. And I know we are almost running out of time. So, you know, the last couple of questions. So potential, can you tell us a little bit about that?
So this is the concept I had for how do you solve the world’s biggest problem? How do you get people to believe themselves more, it starts with self-awareness, which I think is the most important first step. If everybody just goes through the one-word process, it becomes easier to believe the purpose of it and even if you don’t buy the book, just think about it. What’s one core value that you define for yourself? If you come up with something like adventure, then it forces you to look at your life and say, where if you’re not happy with your life, and your one word is adventure? It’s because you don’t have enough adventure in your life. You need to build adventure into relationships. You need to build a venture into your business, you build a venture into how you take care of yourself, and you need to have adventure constantly. So just having that awareness creates ripple effects out that forces change. Yeah, that clarity becomes the whole game. So so the self-awareness part is the first and then and then we get into things like the need to change your environment. So if listening to my news every day is the thing that gets you motivated and has more adventure great. Then put that into your daily activities, your physical environment, you can see what I have in my office here behind me. This may mean nothing to you, but it’s deep and meaningful and personal to me. Having mentors, going to events, expressing yourself, there’s a lot of different pieces that make that happen. But the core the most important one is the self-awareness to figure out who you are, what you stand for, and then build a life business around it.
That’s very true. Self-Awareness is so important and you know, it has in my own life, it has sort of transformed it only after I put in a lot of effort in understanding my own self. So that’s so true. Thank you so much for sharing that. Now is there anything else before we wrap up Is there anything else you want to share with the audience?
I would just say, be proud of yourself today. I think the biggest problem that we face here is you’re not proud of your effort. We’re tying our self-worth to the results to winning to getting a million views or million likes. If you tie yourself work to the results, you’re always going to play small, you’re only going to do things that you know you’re going to get a result on. If you tie support to the effort. And you do that every day, you’ll create amazing things. So I don’t care what you’re posting to Instagram because you might win at something small and post it to Instagram and Phil, you know people will cheer you on but how do you feel about yourself? Are you proud of your effort? So before all know what time it is, people are watching whatever time it is you guys watching right now, you’re not in bed yet. So before you close your eyes, do something today that makes you proud of yourself. Be proud of the effort that you’re putting in today and take that approach every single day. For the next year. Your life will be dramatically different one year from today compared to where you are right now.
That’s great. Very well said thank you so much, everyone, for being with us and sharing all this knowledge. I’m sure everyone got a lot of value and it has been a special episode for our 50th episode and thanks a lot for making it even more special.
My honor and thank you for having me on man.