How To Be WellnStrong

37: How to Build Momentum | Evan Carmichael

January 23, 2024 Jacqueline Genova Episode 37
37: How to Build Momentum | Evan Carmichael
How To Be WellnStrong
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How To Be WellnStrong
37: How to Build Momentum | Evan Carmichael
Jan 23, 2024 Episode 37
Jacqueline Genova

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My guest today transformed himself from a shy teen into a bold entrepreneur and a source of inspiration. Through his viral YouTube videos, he has empowered millions worldwide with his uplifting messages, encouraging people every day to believe in themselves. Gary Vaynerchuck called him the DJ who inspires people and Ed Mylett called him the modern-day Napoleon Hill. At the age of 19, he built and then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist who raised $15M. He wrote a book, speaks globally and now runs a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs with over 3 million subscribers and 500 million views.  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 must know. Join me in this exclusive interview as I speak with Evan Carmichael. I used it as an opportunity for a mini personal coaching session for me, as we discuss topics including how to determine where to spend your focus, the morning routine that sets Evan up for success, and how to get yourself in a state of momentum and overcome self-doubt.


Suggested Resources:

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.


Follow Jacqueline:


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send me a text!

My guest today transformed himself from a shy teen into a bold entrepreneur and a source of inspiration. Through his viral YouTube videos, he has empowered millions worldwide with his uplifting messages, encouraging people every day to believe in themselves. Gary Vaynerchuck called him the DJ who inspires people and Ed Mylett called him the modern-day Napoleon Hill. At the age of 19, he built and then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist who raised $15M. He wrote a book, speaks globally and now runs a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs with over 3 million subscribers and 500 million views.  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 must know. Join me in this exclusive interview as I speak with Evan Carmichael. I used it as an opportunity for a mini personal coaching session for me, as we discuss topics including how to determine where to spend your focus, the morning routine that sets Evan up for success, and how to get yourself in a state of momentum and overcome self-doubt.


Suggested Resources:

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.


Follow Jacqueline:


Jacqueline Genova: [00:00:00] First of all, welcome to the show. I'm so honored and grateful to have you here. I really do appreciate your time. I feel like I know you just based on the conversations I've heard you have with other folks as well as reading some of your books.

 

Are you pretty used to that by now?

 

Evan Carmichael: I guess it's I never thought it was weird. I don't know why. I mean, my wife and I when I started getting recognized, people would come up on the street and say, Hey, how you doing? How's Nina? How are the dogs? How's the insert whatever comment from a recent trip or something? And I, I don't know, I just went with it.

 

Nina, Nina was like, isn't that weird that people are, I don't know. I just, I haven't really had much of a filter or hide most things. So as long as it's not, there's a few topics, I guess, or like my parents don't like being too public. And so we don't say too many things about that. But, I don't know. I think it's, I think it's, I think it's fine.

 

I've never had any creepy like [00:01:00] stalker or anything. 

 

Yeah, I don't know. It's, I think it's fine. It's an honor, , that people would want to spend time. , and would value my opinion or whatever I'm up to. And, super pumped to be on your show here today.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Thanks, Evan. No, I couldn't agree more. I know I had my first moment where someone recognized me when I was walking here in Greenville a few weeks ago, and I was, I was beyond flattered that the person was just sharing my work, and I just consider it a new friend. I mean, that's quite honestly how I get most of my followers.

 

I'll just go up to some random person on the street and I'll be like, “Hi, I have a blog. Here's my card. You should check it out.” So I, I truly do love that personal interaction. 

 

Evan Carmichael: I'm sure at some point it gets, it gets too crazy, you know, when I go out, I'll still wear, I mean, I wear this, this is what I wear. I've got 40 hoodies and three of them are not this. , so this is what I wear around the house is where, what I wear when I go out and depending on where I'm at, I get stopped.

 

But. I get stopped more frequently because I'm wearing, you know, the colors. I'm sure at some point when you get to, you know, , whatever level, [00:02:00] Kanye level or Taylor Swift or whatever, you just kind of want a normal life. , I remember there was a restaurant in New York, the Hutton Fish Club, that I went to and they, they, , do these knife engravings that they put on the wall for their celebrity friends or whatever.

 

So I was there and they made me a knife and they put it up on the wall. And they were just talking about how Bill Gates was there the week before or something. , but he never books under his real name. He has a fake name and I could just imagine like he's there and everybody wants to talk to him and he like at some point, I guess you can't get work done.

 

I'm not that famous yet, so I don't have to worry about it. It's still flattering. It's still fun. Hasn't interrupted any of my vacations or anything. So 

 

Jacqueline Genova: Good. I'm glad. You're in a good space. Good space. Well, Evan, let's get right into it. I'm, I'm a big fan of your work and you speak a lot about moment, right? In fact, that's the title of one of your books that I recently just finished yesterday. And yeah, I know for myself that it's [00:03:00] easier to sustain moment once I'm in that state, but oftentimes it's the getting into that state, right, that poses somewhat of a challenge.

 

So what are some simple steps that I could take to help put me in that flow state, be it related to like health goal, a business goal, or even just life goals.

 

Evan Carmichael: The biggest thing usually is just environment and routines. As boring as that sounds, it's like, what do you do when you wake up and who is in your ear, like why I make my content, the channels, all the videos is for me because I want Elon Musk in my ear or Steve Jobs in my ear or whoever, Maya Angelou, you know, like I want that in my ear every morning because we don't wake up or at least for me, I don't wake up.

 

And be like, I'm going to go change the world today, guys. This is going to be the greatest day of my life. We're going to go do that's not how I ever, ever wake up. And so what makes a difference? Well, it's the habits and routines and what we force into our, into our ears. And so most [00:04:00] people will wake up and just go to the bathroom and load their Instagram and start doom scrolling.

 

And, like what just happened in the past 25 minutes, as opposed to being intentional about how you want to wake up. So the most important part of my daily routine is what I call my believe walk. And so I get outside even when I don't want to. I live in Toronto, Canada. It's snowy today, like a fresh drop of snow.

 

It's cold. I'm looking outside. 

 

I don't want to go out in that mess slash everywhere. But it's like part of my morning routine. So I wake up and I try to get outside as soon as possible. And as I do my walk, I'm also listening to a video from my own channels, like some mentor, somebody I want to learn from.

 

And throughout the walk, I'm like, Oh, that's a good idea. That's a good idea. I got Warren Buffett telling me to do this. And I come home, it's like, let's go. We got to go do some work here. We're, you know, it's like how quickly things can change. And I think in that combination of the right headspace with the right content.

 

Plus outside, you know, [00:05:00] daylight, as much as I can get in a cold, snowy Toronto, fresh air, plus the, the, the movement and the action. So I'm not just kind of lying down in bed waiting to kind of get out of bed and start my day. That combination has a magical effect on me and gets me set up to have a great day.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Have you read this book? It's called The Miracle Morning.

 

Evan Carmichael: I know Hal I had lunch with him in Austin. I don't read a ton, he's great. I know the concept. I don't get most of my learning from reading. I get them, I'm a visual, so I get it more from videos. But yeah, I think he took like seven or ten or whatever, the most common things and smushed them together, into the morning practice.

 

And it's worked for him and worked for tons of other people. I think the key thing with the morning routine is that you find the one that works for you. 

 

And, , you could try on somebody else's routine, whether it's Hal's or mine's or Oprah's or whoever. And it, some of it may stick and some of it may not.

 

Or how much you spend on different categories may stick or may [00:06:00] not. , but the key thing is that you're waking up and doing something intentional, even just that. Most of the time we lose our intention and especially as entrepreneurs, a lot of us have ADD and it's like, no matter how great a day today is like, Oh my gosh, I'm crushing this podcast game.

 

This is amazing. This is what I was born to do. And then you wake up tomorrow. It's like, uh, what are we doing today? Why did I do this in the first? It's like, you're kind of starting over from scratch every day, and so cool. Don't expect it to last a long time. Wake up every day and have something that sets you up.

 

So for your listeners, if they love your show and the guests you bring on and the way you see the world, cool. Like how many episodes of your show do you have?

 

Jacqueline Genova: 34.

 

Evan Carmichael: Go 34. 

 

Jacqueline Genova: Evan, I'm still a newbie. I started last May. I literally just forced myself. I booked someone, bought myself a mic, didn't know anything about podcasting and just went for it. 

 

Evan Carmichael: And here we are. The first step is the hardest. And, and then it's easy to criticize yourself and judge yourself and look at it and say, “Oh my gosh, that sucked. I can't believe [00:07:00] whatever I asked that stupid question” or I was all of the things that we are usually our own worst critic where people looking back don't even notice the things that we notice.

 

But the most important thing is that you just keep going. You know, if you look at my YouTube journey, I show the numbers on my homepage of like year over year growth. I forget what it is. It's like five years in, I still only had a couple thousand subscribers. After five years of making content, you know, most people look at that and say, “Oh, my failure, I should stop.”

 

I should quit. Like, it's not like you only tried it for five weeks. It was five years, but it just kept going. And I kept focusing on who I was serving instead of who I wasn't. And the fact that 50 people watch that video, I was like, 50 people watch that video. Those are 50 people, you know, so the only thing I had going for me was I, I just kept doing it.

 

You know, I was introverted, shy, afraid to ask for help, super critical, judgmental, couldn't watch my first 350 videos back without, like, I couldn't watch it. First 350 videos. I couldn't even look at it, and it took 700 [00:08:00] public videos until I inspired myself where I looked at it. It's like, h? Like that was, I'm lying. I know what, like, Hmm. Okay. Not bad. Carmichael. Not bad. 700 videos in. Right, I just kept going and that focus on who. , I was serving, I wasn't serving really, really helped me. So, I mean, 34 episodes, I would have never done this. I would have, I would have not had the courage to ask people to be on my show.

 

I'd be like, I don't know what I'm doing, so you're already way ahead of where I was when I got started.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Thanks Evan. I appreciate that. Yeah, and I think the thing with me, and I always, I share this with, you know, interviewees and my, my followers obviously, but my inspiration is my mom, so she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer back in 2018, and WellnStrong basically started as a platform for me to share all the research from an integrative standpoint that I was doing for her, and all the complementary therapies she was [00:09:00] doing, and I mean, God touched it, and little by little, it just kind of grew.

 

I built a community of doctors, and then I felt called to start a podcast last year because there was just so much I had to say, but I'm really passionate too about mental and emotional health, and motivation and wellbeing. So that's why I'm, I'm super excited to have guests like yourself on, but going back to the ADD comment. So once I'm in that flow state, I often want to go full speed ahead, right? With every idea that comes into my mind after that morning podcast, we're like, all right, let's go seize the day.

 

But as the saying goes, Evan, it's like, if we're chasing two rabbits, we're not going to catch either one. Right. So something I've been struggling with is trying to figure out where to focus my time when it comes to which ideas to pursue. So do you have a process that you found to be helpful when it comes to abiding by that 80 20 principle and really discerning where to place your focus?

 

Evan Carmichael: Yeah, [00:10:00] so when I'm in flow state, I try to stay there as, as much as I can for as long as I can. And I'll, I'll push other stuff. To make that happen, my challenges might not be prescriptive for others is that it's, it's, I'm not always in flow state. It's always like, this is the thing that I have to do today.

 

Oh my God. And so I have my calendar and I, I find it helpful to do different things on different days. So every day of the week I have a different theme. So, we're recording this on a Thursday. Thursday is my public Facebook day, it's like I, I do, , It's, , this is a challenge for me to get going in the morning because I'm introverted and shy and like I would stay and make content and research and stats and like it's, I'd love that. , so I start the day with my community, I do community training. So it's like my light start, it's easy, they're family, I know them and it's always fun and training them on their YouTube channels, whatever.

 

And then the whole day is podcasts and interviews. And so I'm going one into the next, into the next. And so it's easy to maintain that energy. If anything, I [00:11:00] gain it like you. You're getting the Evan from the whole day of me doing other interviews and shows and it's like, this is fun and comfortable, but Evan at the beginning of the day is like, oh my gosh, I don't want to do any of this.

 

Jacqueline Genova: I'm glad I got you in the afternoon then.

 

Evan Carmichael: That's why I always start with the light, like my training, because it's my family and it's, it's easy. So I have different days, different things. , so today that's all I have to worry about is doing different shows and spreading the Believe message and trying to help support people and their, their shows and their channels.

 

Some of them is for me and some of them is just, I mean, I don't know why, I don't know how this all happened and you probably reached out and my team is always like, why do you say yes to these people and not to these people? It's like, I don't know. I just, I like there's something in the message that I like that it's much more vibe thing for me than anything else.

 

So sometimes I give my team heart problems of trying to figure out like, what's he going to say yes to, , there are other moments where like, I, I get, I get an idea and like, wow, this would be really cool. And I just start [00:12:00] working on it. And I'm, and I'm willing to throw away, I'll throw away a whole day to work on this thing, because that's where the magic actually gets created.

 

And this might be not great advice for most people. I don't know, but it works for me. So if you look at my YouTube channel, one of the things that I've been known for, I guess, is doing these rules for success for different people that we profile. That was never part of my plan. That came because a friend of mine, Mark Drager made this blog post about.

 

Taylor Swift and Kanye West about how Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the Years after the thing happened and like Mark dude Like you might not like Kanye but you could learn a lot from him like you and now he's gone extra crazy recently But he went from being a producer to a rapper to an entrepreneur to billionaire Like you might not like him But you couldn't like choose to learn from people who you don't like as opposed to just seeing the negative side because there's lots of negative Things you can find but you can learn from him And so I threw away my entire day to [00:13:00] make a video about Kanye West and 10 lessons that you can learn from him.

 

And I don't know what else I had scheduled on that day. I had other stuff planned. Like this was not just, Ooh, what are we going to do today? But I got so upset at my friend, Mark, that that's, that was the very first video that I made as a tribute to, somebody that I wanted to learn from. And as a result, people said, “Hey, can you do Oprah? Can you do Jay Z? Can you do like . . .” Yeah, okay, let's go. And that became part of this thing that I now do, 

 

but it was a random one off just to show it to my friend, Mark Drager. Exercise that I was willing to throw away my like air quotes throw away my entire day to do I just don't judge myself for that being a right or wrong decision like that one worked, but I've done other things that didn't work, you know, moment was great.

 

Like I wrote that book in five days. I did not have time to write. I didn't have time to write the book. I, I threw away other stuff to make [00:14:00] this thing happen because I was in moment and the title was Moment. So like, I can't write a book called Moment and then take three years to write a book called Moment.

 

So those are examples that work, but there's lots of other stuff that I did that didn't work or I, I wouldn't do again, but I don't wake up most days super inspired by some idea that I need to go chase down today. And so that's why I have my calendar. And the calendar saves me on most days. 20% of days I get inspired and I, I might.

 

Throw some things away, even if it might upset somebody. Like, if I had some crazy idea this morning on my walk, I might tell my assistant, like, Jenny, I need the whole day to work on something. And then she's writing to you, saying, Hey, sorry, we gotta reschedule with Evan. And I feel like I can always make it up.

 

Like, I can find a way to make it up if I need to. Because what I'm gonna make today is gonna be gold. Like, this is gonna be magic. And so I have to stay in this zone as much as possible.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Yeah. It's truly about experimenting. I mean, even for me, I found that, like, I do these monthly self-care posts on my Well and Strong Instagram, and [00:15:00] they have garnered, like, so much engagement, Evan, to the point where my account grew by, like, 40 percent in one month just due to those illustrations. So it is.

 

It's about experimenting and see what resonates with your audience, being a content creator, right? Yeah. We're consistently creating content, and I found that the way I've looked at things has changed and not necessarily for my benefit.

 

So, for example, if I'm in a beautiful setting or experiencing something wonderful. My first thought is often, how do I capture this for my audience? What piece of content can I create from it rather than just enjoying and being in the moment? Is that something you struggle with? And if so, or even if you don't, like what advice do you have for people like me out there who are content creators who again, just struggle to maintain that sense of presence in everyday life? 

 

Evan Carmichael: I don't know, I just don't judge myself on these things. You know, so I just came back from two weeks in Texas and Mexico. And, , it [00:16:00] was great because now I'm back to the snow. It's like, Oh my gosh, it's so warm. And on, on my Instagram, for example, , we do a morning post at scheduled and an evening post that.

 

I'm sometimes posting just whatever's on my mind. And I told my team, Hey, schedule the second post as well to take like an Evan clip and put it up because I'm going to be away for two weeks. I don't want to have to post anything. , I'm just going to be on the trip and enjoy and, and have fun, you know, with my wife in Mexico and Dallas.

 

I ended up for the first week in Texas. I ended up having to reschedule all of those posts because I wanted to post something. And then for the second week, I said, okay, just cancel. I'll just post every day. I mean, I'm in the zone. I'm feeling it. I like posting. We're sharing. I'm sharing the stuff I'm looking at.

 

So just cancel all the things that I told you to please schedule. You're like, I don't know. I just, I felt like sharing. [00:17:00] , Something always goes up and so I think part of the trick of being a content creator is not having to be forced to have to make something. And so, whether it's Christmas or break or I'm away or whatever, we'll get ahead on content so that there's always something going up.

 

But in terms of the, like, do I share something personal or not or how do I enjoy the moment? I don't know. I just, when I, when I'm, when I feel like making content around it, I do is part of the moment, and when I just feel like being there with my wife and enjoying, then I am. I don't know. I'm not, I'm not thinking about it.

 

Maybe that's weird. 

 

Jacqueline Genova: That seems to be the key. I think the thoughts we have about our thoughts is what actually creates the anxiety, right? In a very strange way, , but no, I, I love that. And Evan, if you could go back in time and do one thing differently in your journey in building your business, what would it be?

 

Evan Carmichael: So this is always a fun question or this kind of version of it because, , one, I don't think backwards. Another, like a weird [00:18:00] thing about me is like, I'm not, I'm just here with you. What am I doing next? I have no idea. What would I go back 20 years ago or whatever? Like, I don't, I don't live in the past at all.

 

And two, I'm grateful for where I'm at here now talking to you that I worry about the butterfly effect of like, Oh, if I change that though, like sure, I might be further ahead, but what if I'm dead or something? Yeah. 

 

Jacqueline Genova: Yep. I hear you.

 

Evan Carmichael: So, , I don't usually think about these things, but sometimes being on shows kind of like forces.

 

Oh, that's a weird way to think about things that don't naturally think that way. , you know, if you took me back to some critical moments in my life and I had the chance to do something different, , I don't know that I would be strong enough to not shake 19 year old Evan and tell him like, do this, you know, like the most obvious one is we, we lost a 40 million deal when I was, , 20. And I may not have gotten that deal, but if I did things a little differently, it's mostly because I was [00:19:00] overthinking and trying to be a perfectionist. And you know, like I just was too slow. We'll talk like now I read a book about moment is because I didn't have moment and I was trying to be too perfect when I was a younger entrepreneur.

 

I'm still a recovering perfectionist. And so, , if I went back to talk to 19 year old Evan, who's like about to make this mistake, I probably, Would go and tell him. I don't know that I would have the courage to just sit there and watch him make this mistake.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Yeah.

 

Evan Carmichael: So that's probably what I would do is like tell myself to just believe in yourself more stop being a perfectionist get more moment and why I end up loving questions like this is because whatever advice you would give to younger you is still what you need today, you know, if you think about 85 year old you coming to talk to you It's the same message 85 year old Evan is telling today, Evan, the same thing, believe in [00:20:00] yourself more, go faster, you can do this.

 

, and so then it becomes actually super practical that whatever message you would tell your younger self or wisdom, it's like, you still need that just on a bigger scale for you today.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Yeah. No, I love that. And I don't necessarily think, even looking at my mistakes, that I would have changed anything because We learn, right? We learn from experience. And I love the phrase, fail forward. So every time there is something that I wish I may have done in a different manner, I say, okay, but this is gonna make me a better person in this area, right?

 

Just from that experience of failing that we may otherwise not have learned had we succeeded.

 

Evan Carmichael: So like, that's the story I tell myself. I just don't know if you put me in that spot and I could actually make the change. Like if you're back in your body. Yeah. Like if you go back and you are in your 19-year-old body and you have a chance to make. Do you then knowingly do the incorrect, the, the incorrect thing?

 

I don't know. I don't know if I would. Yeah, exactly. I don't know if I would. Like, I, I, I would like to think I would have the courage to do it, but I don't [00:21:00] know. If you put me in that spot, I don't know unless I'm actually there.

 

Jacqueline Genova: Yeah. Well, I think you have a great way of looking at it given that we're not able to at least at this point in time. Evan, my last question for you, I do want to be conscious of your time, is what does being WellnStrong mean to you? 

 

Evan Carmichael: I would say feeling like what you're doing matters every day. I think there's a lot of content and a lot of great advice around health and, , diet and exercise and all of this stuff, which is great. And I'm not the expert on that, but one of the things I found to be the most helpful for me is just feeling like what I do matters when people ask me, like, how are you so optimistic or happy or energetic all the time?

 

Like, well, at first I'm not, second, it's like, it's not my diet. You know, I could eat Snickers every day and I would be 50 pounds heavier. But I'd still have energy like it's let's go. I'm ready to do this interview. Why? Because I feel like the work that I do [00:22:00] matters and it might matter to the world or might matter to five people.

 

But if you could actually connect the work you're doing. To somebody else. Like, it's not just about you. Like you mentioned, you did this because of your mom as a starting point. And now all the people that you're able to help who are like you and like your mom is incredible. And like, and you're still getting started.

 

Fast forward to episode 340 and Holy cow, how many lives are you going to have touched and changed? And people coming up and say like your episode number 48, like made a huge life changing moment for me. Like if you can actually feel that every day, that what you're doing is going to impact somebody else. It's not enough to just to do it for yourself.

 

You need to feel like you're contributing to somebody else in some way. And if you actually felt that, , I think if you combine that with all the health and exercise and diet and all that, feeling like what you're doing matters. I think, well, that'd be my definition of well and strong.

 

Jacqueline Genova: I love that. Purpose of life is a [00:23:00] life of purpose, right, Evan? Well, who knows? Maybe I'll have you back on for episode 350, so I'm looking forward to it. 

 

Evan Carmichael: You're at what? 34

 

Jacqueline Genova: 34.

 

Evan Carmichael: 100. 

 

Jacqueline Genova: Okay. Let's do it. Awesome. 

 

Evan Carmichael: Contact my team and we'll do a 100 celebration together. 

 

Jacqueline Genova: I'm excited. I'll start planning now.

 

Evan Carmichael: Cool. I love it. Thank you for your love and energy and can't wait to see you for 

Steps to help put you in a flow state
The power of a morning walk & routine
Creating consistency
How to direct your focus
How Evan starts his day
The power of a single idea
How to stay in the moment as a content creator
What Evan would change in the building of his business if he could go back in time
The significance of having a sense of purpose