What does it take to start a successful YouTube channel? And how does that differ from building it once you’ve got it off the ground?
Joining us today is return guest Robert Brix Glover, a health and fitness YouTuber whose first video (which documented his remarkable weight loss transformation) went viral and garnered him thousands of new subscribers back in 2016.
Today that video has over six million views — and it’s not even the most viewed video on his channel! We first had Brix on the podcast back in 2020, where we chatted about his childhood, his weight loss journey, and the inner transformation that changed his life. In today’s conversation, we get into the backstory of how he built his YouTube channel, what he takes into account when choosing his subject matter, and how he plans to take his content to the next level.
We hear from Brix about the lessons that have been instrumental to his YouTube evolution before discussing the details of how you can earn a six-figure income on YouTube as a full-time content creator.
Brix also shares his perspective on creating content that incorporates the people and events in his life, why authenticity is central to his approach, and the transformative effect that his personal version of monk mode has had on him.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to gain traction as a content creator, or if you want to put your ideas out there but you’re not sure where to start, then you won’t want to miss out on this game-changing conversation!
BG: “I knew when I felt that click, that this was connected to my purpose here. This was somehow connected to me serving humanity in some way, right? I figured it'd be in the fitness industry, and I have videos of me 310 pounds, talking to the camera saying, “Hey, you know what, I'm going to get a six pack, and I'm going to help other people lose weight as well.” I was still fat, saying this stuff. Again, I didn't even understand the concept of speaking things into reality at the time. It was just me speaking from my heart, and I made all of these proclamations over my life.”
[00:00:43] LW: Hello, friends. Welcome back to The Light Watkins Show, where I interview ordinary folks just like you and me, who have taken extraordinary leaps of faith in the direction of their path, their purpose, or what they’ve identified as their mission. In doing so, they have been able to positively impact and inspire the lives of many other people who have either heard about their story, or who witnessed them in action, or people who have directly benefited from their work.
This week on the show, I'm back in conversation with someone who I originally interviewed back in episode 14, which aired almost three years ago, in August of 2020. His name is Robert Glover, but he's better known by his YouTube handle, which is Brix Fitness. Brix is a YouTuber who documents his personal transformation of losing over 150 pounds. And going from what he refers to as fat Brix, which is the old version of him, to becoming fit Brix, which is the current version.
His first video, which he posted when he only had about 50 subscribers was a video that he literally threw together in under an hour, and he improvised this voice over narration, and it was a video that depicted the transformation using clips that he had collected over the years. This was many, many years ago. That was the video that I originally saw that made me want to have Brix on my podcast back in 2020. He said that when the video went live, within a few weeks, he started getting thousands of new subscribers a day, the video was going viral, and it now has over six million views, and that isn't even the most viewed video on his channel.
So, you know me, I wanted to know all about the backstory of how he built this YouTube channel, which isn't something that we went super deep into during our last interview, because we spent most of that time talking about his childhood, and his developmental years, and things like that. I decided to ask Brix back onto my podcast and to question him about what does it take to start a YouTube channel from the perspective of someone out there, perhaps listening to this conversation, who may have aspirations of sharing whatever you're passionate about on a platform like YouTube.
I have to put myself in that category as well. Because I've certainly thought about being more intentional about building my YouTube channel as well by sharing more of my story, more of my personal life, creating vlogs, et cetera. We get into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to start a YouTube channel, and then Brix also walks us through what it takes to build the channel. Because what it takes to start is not necessarily going to be the same thing as what it takes to build the channel. So, we get into the numbers of how much YouTubers make from having a certain amount of subscribers and views, and it's probably more than you imagine.
As a case study, we use a personal experience of Brix’s that he's documented on his channel a few times of going what he calls monk mode, which is going without sex, sometimes it’s going without releasing, going without social media, going without all kinds of things that would make us cringe. He created videos about his process. I wanted him to talk about how, from a content creator’s perspective, how he thinks about documenting his life and incorporating the people in his life, sometimes his partners, his family, his kids. He's had everybody in some of these videos.
Again, this is all from the perspective of helping you see anything that you may have in your life in the lens of content creation, as – and again, this is all from the perspective of helping you see any ideas that you may have about content creation, through the lens of someone who has three quarters of a million followers and who's a full-time content creator. Hopefully, it will inspire you to take the next step in transforming your ideas into some consumable content.
So, I'm excited to share this conversation with you. If you hear it, and you want to know more about Brix, definitely check out our first episode, which again is episode 14. Or maybe start with episode 14, and then listen to this one. It's up to you. But Brix’s story is fascinating. There are many levels to it, and I'm excited for you to hear it. So, without further ado, let's get into it. Here's my conversation with my dear friend, and my brother from another mother, Mr. Robert Brix Glover.
[00:05:36] LW: Robert Brix Fit Glover. Back on the podcast. What's up, man?
[00:05:42] BG: It is an honor. Again, one of my favorite interviewers, for sure. I'm excited about this. I don't know if you notice how quickly I responded to your text message when you asked me. I’m like, “Of course, let's do it.”
[00:05:57] LW: Beautiful. That last interview was a couple of years ago, right? It was like back in, I think it was like in 2020, or maybe 2021. You were one of the first, I think, 50 interviews I did on this podcast back when it was called At The End of the Tunnel, and we went through your whole backstory growing up, Brooklyn, and how you became what you refer to as fat Brix.
Yes, that's right. That's right. I remember because my assistant at the time got triggered. She thought I was engaging in body shaming by using that term, and you using the term, and the whole conversation triggered her. So, she ended up quitting over that –
[00:06:35] BG: Over that conversation?
[00:06:37] LW: Well, that was one of the things that prompted her to quit.
[00:06:41] BG: The thing that kind of pushed her over the edge.
[00:06:44] LW: One of the things. But anyway, she was –
[00:06:46] BG: But we won’t get into that.
[00:06:47] LW: We don't have to get – that's a whole other podcasts conversation. But she was regretful later, she was apologetic later. The thing is, getting triggered is it yanks you out of your authenticity, it yanks you out of the present moment, puts you into some story you have in your head about something that's based on conclusions that you've jumped to and assumptions. So, that's why it's so valuable to engage in practices that help to shield you from getting triggered as often as you would otherwise. I mean, we all get triggered on occasion, but some people more than others, and that's what I keep coming back to in my content when I'm talking about meditation, and these kinds of stillness practices and gratitude. It’s just, even the fact that it keeps you from getting triggered is enough of a reason to invest in it on a daily basis.
[00:07:35] BG: Not just the prevention of the trigger. But more of the awareness of when you're in that state is just as valuable, I think.
[00:07:41] LW: Because you could also make the argument that the triggers is the byproduct of telling yourself these stories and operating with blind spots over and over and over. Then, like a pressure cooker, anything can kind of make it blow up.
So, you've been a pretty, I would say, devout meditator, since I don't know how long before we met, but definitely since we connected, because then you got a hold of Bliss More, which is the book, the how to meditation book that I wrote. I remember us having that conversation, because we became friends. You joined the men's group that I was in, and so we started connecting just kind of offline a lot more, and you reached out to me about meditation, and I tried to enroll you in getting a copy of Bliss More. Let's talk about your experiences with that book. How did your meditation practice change one way or the other?
[00:08:33] BG: So, I think like most people, the beginning, I guess, chapters of my meditation journey, there was a lot of wrestling that I did with the idea that it was supposed to look and feel a certain way. I think that chapter was maybe like the first two or three years, where I'm like, “My mind won't shut off.” I mean, my mind will quiet down. I'm not experiencing these states, these states of gratitude and just like bliss, right? I thought that was supposed to happen every single time that I sat on the mat.
What Bliss More did, it started by refereeing the battle that I was having with myself during meditation, and then eventually it just ended the war, which, as you can assume, was transformational. It transformed my entire meditation experience. If I had to sum up how Bliss More took my meditation practice to the next level, it's that. It ended the war with myself during meditation.
[00:09:34] LW: I love that description. It ended the war. I think a lot of people can relate to that. So many people are in a war with their mind without realizing it, and it's just not productive. When that war ends, you start to see how much mental effort you're wasting by trying to regulate and control your thoughts and your mind, and how liberating it feels when that's no longer happening, and you're allowing your mind to be what I call free range. Just to be, just roam around freely. Beautiful.
[00:10:07] BG: When it connected for me, it felt like the biggest release. It felt like a huge release and I felt lighter in the experience excused upon, but it was instant transformational moment for me. It was something about the way you worded it in the book, that it created that click moment for me. My meditation experience has never been the same. So, let me, again, thank you for writing that book and for walking your path, man, because I'm an advocate for that book. I'd recommend that book. I bought the book for 15 to 20 people. I've recommended it to probably thousands. So, thank you.
[00:10:50] LW: That's where I wanted to go next in this conversation is you have massive audience. You have over three quarters of a million subscribers on this YouTube channel that you've been using for the last, how many years now, to track your personal transformation. First, it started off physically, and now it's starting to move into more of a lifestyle spiritual area, and you post all kinds of every little experiment you do, you post about it. Something that I've been watching over the last couple of years, that I don't know a lot about, but I thought we could use this time to kind of unpack, because I think it could be helpful for other people is the experiment of the monk mode.
I've heard you say you going monk mode or also known as no fap. I don't know what that actually means. So, would love to talk about that. But I would also love to talk about it in the context of you building this YouTube channel, because I'm sure a lot of people out here listening to this, have had the idea of starting a YouTube channel. I think, it'd be useful for us to talk a little bit about that as well, myself included. I have thought about doing what you do. And seeing you with all these subscribers, honestly is a little bit intimidating. It's like, “Ah, it's going to be so much work.” I see how much work you're putting into it and we've had talks again, offline, talking about the processes, and what it actually entails.
But I guess a better place for us to kind of frame this conversation is through the mindset. What kind of mindset do you have to be in to start something like that? What keeps you moving forward? What kind of mindset keeps you moving toward? Because I imagine building a YouTube channel and going monk mode have a lot of overlaps and similarities. So, really quickly, just to catch the listeners up, just give us a montage of your history leading up to your transformation and where you are today.
[00:12:49] BG: Yes, so quick overview. I graduated college 2011. At the time, I'm 150, 60 pounds overweight. I get in trouble with the law, I lose my job, I lose my family, I lose my sanity. I'm in a really depressed place. I anticipated taking my own life. In that dark place is where I decided to find a way to take control of my life, and I would brainstorm. What can I put energy into that would essentially be the first domino? That's kind of how I tell the story, the first domino that kind of knocks down everything else and kind of fixes my life.
I decided to go on his weight loss journey. The weight loss journey kind of turned into a personal development journey, because at the same time, I discovered the power of my mind, and I started reading books on spirituality and these sorts of things. So, the intention, and the energy shifted from just weight loss to just becoming a better human and to find inner peace, and find a way to serve people.
That weight loss/personal development journey started in 2013. I felt something click. It was like, I woke up one day, literally, it was March 1, 2013 and I felt that my life would never be the same. I felt like something just snapped inside of me. Maybe a week or two later, I just decided to start documenting it all, because it just felt profound. It felt like this was the beginning of something profound. At the time, I didn't have language for it because I wasn't really connected to my spiritual self yet, right? But I felt this deep inspiration to just make sure that I'm documenting this because these days just felt important. So, I started filming blurbs of me just kind of talking about what I'm going through and what I'm experiencing, and my weight loss journey and [inaudible 00:14:55]. YouTube was never really on my radar. I didn't really watch YouTube. I didn't really know anything about the platform at all. But I've always kind of been a documenter from before social media, right?
I have a camcorder. I was the guy walking around in the party with the camcorder, with the tapes and the MiniDVs and all that. I've always been that. I've always valued capturing moments. So, I documented my weight loss journey pretty closely, and after I lost all the weight, I’m wondering a little bit, I knew when I felt that click that this was connected to my purpose here, right? This was somehow connected to me serving humanity in some way. I figured it'd be in the fitness industry, and I have videos of me 310 pounds, talking to the camera saying, “Hey, you know what, I'm going to get a six pack, and I'm going to help other people lose weight as well.” I was still fat saying this stuff. Again, I didn't even understand the concept of speaking things into reality at the time. It was just me speaking from my heart and I made all of these proclamations over my life.
So, after I lost the weight, I got my personal training certification. At the time, I'm a personal trainer in Big Box Gym. I'm working in Gold's Gym, I mean, YMCA in LA, right in Korea tunnel, and I ended up moving back to Virginia to be closer to my kids. The trainer hours are terrible, 4am till about 11, and then the evening hours, so I had no time to really spend with my kids. At the time, there was this emerging field of online coaching. That was kind of the beginning of the whole online coaching push.
I said, “Okay, how can I build this online coaching business?” I wanted to serve people, and I also had this desire to serve more people than I was able to do working in a gym with them one on one. I can only have what, 6 or 7, 10 clients a day. So, Gary Vee at the time was just like starting to blow up, and he would talk about content marketing, right? You need to establish yourself as an expert in the space. That's how you build the trust of the people. They have to know who you are, they have to – know, like, and trust factor. You got to build the know, like, and trust factor.
I started on Instagram, and then I said, “You know what, I had been procrastinating for years about starting a YouTube channel.” It was always, I don't have the right equipment. I don't know how to edit. I was totally clueless about the platform. But one day, I just said, “You know what, I'm just going to start with where I am.” I set my phone on the dresser, and I said, “Yo, stop thinking about it, stop trying to play, stop waiting for the perfect moment, and just turn the camera on and just speak, whatever.” At that time, I didn't understand the concept of detachment. So, I just took the step.
Let me tell you, Light, I had been procrastinating maybe about for two years. Because, again, equipment, all these other excuses. The day I posted my first YouTube video, I had a friend call me and say, “Hey, I got this brand new SLR, $1,800 camera.” He's like, “Yo, I don't use this thing. Please come get it.” Just like that. It was because I just took the step. I just took the step.
Anyway, YouTube, initially, I had no expectations for it to blow up. That was never the vision. The vision of initially was for one, I felt almost obligated to share the things that I had learned during my weight loss process. It's like, bro, you cannot keep this to yourself. I had this entirely new reality, where I had crawled out of this dark place, and it's like, now I'm in this paradise, what it felt like, at least. Where there's unicorns lying around, and like, bro, I have to get people here, right? So, I have to share what I learned to help them get to this place.
That's partly what it was and then it was also I want to establish myself as an expert in this space so I can get some online coaching clients. Now, I'm trying to reach people locally. That was the initial vision. I mentioned that I had been documenting all of my weight loss journey from the beginning. I'm searching around on YouTube and I stumbled across some transformation videos. I'm like, “Oh shit, these are pretty dope. I got some footage. I could throw some stuff together.” When I tell you that video, maybe took me 25 minutes to make. I just randomly picked some clips, I threw them in iMovie, and I played it. I close my eyes and I said, “Just speak. Just talk.” I opened my eyes and I watched the video and I just poured whatever came on. One take, I promise you. One take, it took me 15 minutes to throw the clips in iMovie, and then it took me 10 minutes to just record the voiceover, and that was it. I posted it. I had no expectations. I didn't expect it to go viral.
[00:20:28] LW: I'm just going to play a little bit of it, just so that they can hear your monologues. That was the best part of it for me was –
[VIDEO START 00:20:35]
[00:20:36] BG: These missions where I would crash and burn at the end, and end up gaining back every ounce that I lost. It was a vicious cycle that went on for way too long. I didn't feel good about myself. My self-esteem was shot. It was ruining my relationships. It was ruining my life. I had just gotten a divorce and I was having thoughts of suicide. I just recently got into some trouble and had my whole life turned upside down. And I had to do something to take control. So, I decided to transform my body.
[VIDEO END 00:21:13]
[00:21:14] LW: Dude, that was off the dome. That was his one take, Jay Z style?
[00:21:17] BG: Yes. One take, straight off the dome, Light, I promise, man.
[00:21:23] LW: Wow. What about the music? Did you hear the music as you were speaking or the music came later?
[00:21:28] BG: I don't remember, to be honest.
[00:21:29] LW: Because that's like the perfect music for the background.
[00:21:31] BG: Yes. It just all came together so divinely bro. It was meant. It was just meant to happen that way. I don't remember if the music came first, or if I put it in during post. But yes, it just came together so brilliantly, man. Yes, so when it went viral, my mind – I'm getting goosebumps right now. It was like a defining moment. I knew my life would never be the same.
[00:22:02] LW: Did it go viral right away? How many subscribers did you have before and then after?
[00:22:06] BG: I had 53 subscribers, when I posted it, and then it probably took two weeks for it to really start picking up. But I was doing – bro, every human being that I made contact with in real life or online, I will share this stuff with. Every human being I made contact with, I would ask you to subscribe to my channel. I mean, literally, I'm not even exaggerating when I say every human being. Strangers in the street, people at the gym, like whoever I'll cross paths with. They were getting a request to subscribe to my channel and to watch this video. So, it took about two weeks for it to pick up, and I started getting a thousand subscribers a day. That went on for maybe six weeks or eight weeks, something like that, where I was literally getting between 500 and 1,000 subscribers every single day.
I'm like, “Yo, what is going on right now?” It was blowing my mind. Because I started posting videos. I'm like, “Oh shit, I got to make some content.” And people were asking me for vlogs. I didn't know what the hell a vlog was at the time. I had just learned how to use iMovie. So, I didn't know anything. I had no clue what I was doing. That's kind of the apex or the genesis of my YouTube story.
[00:23:25] LW: Were you selling something for that first video? Did you have a course online, anything selling?
[00:23:30] BG: No, I had nothing. I was totally unprepared to capitalize on the traffic. But I didn't know that YouTube was a business. I didn't know people were making – building brands. I had no clue people were selling products. I didn't know any of that stuff when I got on YouTube. I got on YouTube, like I said, because I'm like, “All right, this will help me get some in-person clients, or some online, some online clients.” That's what it was. I was trying to build online clients. But yes, I didn't know anything about digital products. I didn't know anything about sales funnels. I didn't know anything about merch. I didn't know anything. I was totally oblivious to the entire YouTube world.
[00:24:14] LW: I watched the Mr. Beast video who's a big YouTuber, probably the biggest YouTuber in the world, and his whole thing is if you want to get into the YouTube game, just start making content and don't even think about quality in the first 100 videos. Just make those 100 videos. Try to improve one thing per video. Then, by the time you do all that, then you can think about working algorithms and trying to optimize different aspects of the video. So, just give us a little montage of the next step. Once you had the viral video, you said you had to create more content to support the audience that was coming. How did you approach that?
[00:24:51] BG: I started off just making tips videos, because I think that's what everyone was doing.
[00:24:56] LW: Like this is how you do a bicep curl or what?
[00:24:59] BG: Yes. Like, how to eat healthy on a budget. The first five exercises you should be doing as a beginner.
[00:25:07] LW: How did you come up with these topics?
[00:25:09] BG: I would just search on YouTube. I’ll see what people were asking for. Mainly, I would ask my audience, I would ask my audience, I would engage with people in the comment section, I would see what they were asking me. If they asked a question that I thought would make a good video, then I made the video about it. So, between my YouTube search and just listening to my audience, that's how I crafted my content.
[00:25:33] LW: Did you develop a style right away? Were you trying to emulate Casey, whatever his name is, or somebody like that? Or who was your sort of avatar when you were initially creating once you did the transformational video?
[00:25:46] BG: Yes. So, when it came to vlogs, when my audience started asking me for vlogs, that's the first person who came across when I researched Vlogs. It was Casey Neistat. I actually have a crazy Casey Neistat story. I don't know. We don't have to get into that right now. But –
[00:26:00] LW: Yes, let's get into it, if you have it.
[00:26:03] BG: Yes, okay. I'll get back to the Casey thing. So, Casey Neistat was the person I tried to emulate, which was the worst person to try to emulate because he's the GOAT.
[00:26:13] LW: It’s like emulating Michael Jordan.
[00:26:15] BG: Yes, exactly. I didn't even know how to turn the camera on, let alone edit the way the Casey did. Anyway, so the Casey story. I'm living in my van 2022, ‘21, something like that. Anyway, one of those years. I'm in LA. All right I'm in El Segundo. I'm interviewing a videographer for the channel. I told this videographer that I was taking Casey Neistat’s monthly course at the time. He had a course on monthly that where he was teaching people his insider editing tricks. Takes us A to Z through his creation process. So, I'm taking this monthly course at a time, and I'm interviewing the videographer outside the coffee shop, on the corner.
I turn the computer around to show him some of the stuff from the course. I look up, and I see Casey's Land Rover at the light. I'm like, “This is not happening right now. This is crazy.” I said, “Yo, Casey.” He opened his window and I put the computer up, and I showed him his monthly course. He's like, “Holy shit.” He pulls over. So, I tell the videographer start rolling. Just start rolling. I run up to his truck. He's like, “Yo, that's cool as hell, man. Do you want to go surfing with me? I got an extra board in the back.” Like what? Fuck yes. I had jeans on, Light. Fuck this. I jumped in my van and I met him at El Segundo beach. We had a three-hour conversation while waiting for waves, bro. It changed my life. Just that interaction with Casey Neistat, who was my YouTube hero. Who was my YouTube hero. When I tell you, it's just me and him on the water, the videographer is on the rocks kind of trying to get like long distance footage of everything. But we like connected on a soul level, bro. He's telling me deep secrets from his marriage. It was such an experience, bro. It's so hard to articulate. It was huge. It was life changing.
[00:28:28] LW: At that point, you had a significant number of subscribers too. So, he could probably –
[00:28:32] BG: But he didn’t know that before he invited me to surf. This is the thing that I love about Casey and a lot of the successful people that I've had the honor of kind of getting close to, they're just great fucking humans, bro. Just great humans. He's just one of those guys. Yes, I was just very blessed by the experience.
[00:28:54] LW: Did you know how to surf or had you taken surfing lessons?
[00:28:57] BG: That was my first time on a surfboard ever, bro. And it was freezing and I'm in my freaking boxers. I didn't care. I wasn't going to say no to surfing with Casey Neistat. Yes, it was sick.
[00:29:11] LW: Do you have pictures, obviously?
[00:29:13] BG: Yes, I have pictures. I have the works. I’ll send it to you.
[00:29:16] LW: Did you make a video out of it? Did you do a YouTube video? Like, this is the time I went surfing with Casey Neistat?
[00:29:22] BG: No. I never did anything with the footage. But it's in the tuck. I'll probably do something with it one day.
[00:29:29] LW: What was Casey doing in his videos when you first started studying him that you said, he wasn't a good example to start with. So, what was he doing that made you feel like that and what did you do instead?
[00:29:29] BG: He had a lot of camera tricks. He has a very intricate filming. See, Casey is a filmmaker. It was very technical. His style was very technical. But he was an amazing storyteller, but he was more of a visual storyteller. I just didn't have the skill set to achieve a 16th of what he was doing with his videos at the time. But instead, I watched the other vloggers. There was like more simple vlogging styles that I came across that I'm like, “Hey, you know what, I'm just going to try this.” It was just point and shoot. “Hey, this is what I'm doing.” It always felt silly to me, because I personally had never gotten into vlogs. I still don't really understand why people watch them. I personally don't watch them. I don't really get much out of it.
So, I think that was a hindrance, honestly, on my ability to become a better vlogger is because I didn't really understand the psychology behind the viewer who watched blogs. I did my best. But I've recently, if we can fast forward a little bit, I've recently realized that I've spent the last maybe five years, six years making a lot of mistakes when it comes to my video creation process. The reason why my channel – I get a lot of subscribers, but my views aren't really where they should be, and it's because I was a lazy creator. I stayed in that first, I guess, season where you're just putting out content. I kind of got stuck there and I never started – I'm not going to say never. But I didn't put as much effort and planning into my videos as I should have.
So, if you notice, I don't know, if you've watched the last two videos that I just put out, I've recently have shifted my entire creation process, which is – and I'm going to speak this into existence right now. My channel is about to explode. We're going to hit a million subscribers, for sure, by the end of the year. But not just the subscribers, by the beginning of 2024, every video is going to be at least 100,000 views. I'm speaking that right now. I figured it out.
[00:31:53] LW: Let's talk about the changes. What were you not doing in those early days? Because the thing is, and this is where it gets interesting, when it comes to talking to a creator who's been in the game for years now. The thing you do to get started is not the same thing you would do to grow the channel. So, talk about that contrast. What's the thing you do to get started? What's the thing that you would do – you went from, what, half a million up to a 775,000 or 776,000 now. How did that happen? Was it about posting more personal content? Was it about getting views or longer engagement times? What was the thing that you found got to the most traction after you to start it?
[00:32:37] BG: To answer the first part of your question, what I did to get started was just, it was a lot of volume. I put out a lot of videos. What that did was it created this habit of kind of shortcutting and not putting in a lot of the preparation for the video. It was, “Oh, I got an idea for a video. Maybe I will spend 10 minutes, 20 minutes writing a few notes down.” Then, I would just turn on the camera. I kind of got stuck there for too long.
Also, the algorithm changed. I've been on YouTube since 2016. So, it's been a while. A lot of things changed. The viewer, the psychology of the viewer, the habits of the viewer has changed a lot, right? I don't want to doubt myself too much. But I know I've been a lazy creator, and it wasn't because I've been lazy, it’s just, that was the habit that I picked up. It was more like focus on volume. Get the videos out, get the videos out. Whereas now, it's like, I would rather put out one or two videos a month that are bangers, that are like really impactful, that are really going to create micro transformations in the minds and hearts of my viewers. I would rather do that than put out eight videos a month that are just like, ‘eh’.
That's the biggest shift that I've made as a creator as of late. But to answer your question about getting from 500. I think honestly, despite the fact that I feel like I haven't been putting in the effort, it was just the energy, the heart in the videos that allow my channel to keep growing, regardless, which is why I feel so confident about the explosion that's about to happen. Because now I am marrying the heart, and the passion, and the transparency, and all the emotional stuff to the mechanics of what creates good content, and what keeps people engaged, and the hooks, and the B roll, and the second camera, and the audio quality. These things matter so much and I had no clue that it mattered so much. So again, that's why I feel so confident about this next season, that is because I figured that out.
[00:34:57] LW: The transformation video got millions of views That's obviously your biggest video to date. No?
[00:35:02] BG: It is not. I have probably two or three videos that got more views than that.
[00:35:06] LW: Wow. What are the numbers like? If you're looking at somebody's YouTube channel, and they have a certain number of subscribers, call it a million subscribers, and their videos are getting 200, 300, 500,000 views? Is that making them money? Can you live off of that? Is that significant? What are those numbers look like? Just as a fictitional YouTube creator, content creator?
[00:35:31] BG: Let's say a content creator has a million plus subscribers, and he's doing upwards of 200,000 views per video, and he's doing let's say, six videos a month. I mean, obviously YouTube income compounds over time, because your old video – I have videos from eight, six, seven years ago that are still getting 30,000, 40,000 views a month. It compounds over time.
But yes, so let's say he's this content creator who has over a million subscribers. He's getting 200,000 views. Let's say he's been on the platform for three or four years. Yeah, he's making, obviously, depends on the space, right? Because the CPM, which is your cost per mil, is going to vary depending on who you're reaching. But I'd estimate, if they're in the fitness space, they're probably making maybe between 8 and 12 grand a month, from just YouTube AdSense revenue, for sure.
[00:36:35] LW: Is it about the number of subscribers? The number of views? Or the length of time people watch it?
[00:36:43] BG: It's the views. Ultimately, it comes down to the views. All of those things kind of go into the equation. But ultimately, the creators are paid based on how many eyeballs that their content gets onto the advertisement. That's really what it's about. But if you have higher engagement, if people watch your videos longer, then the algorithm is going to push your video and you're going to get more views. It all kind of goes into the gumbo that creates the success of the channel, but it's ultimately about views.
[00:37:17] LW: That's a really healthy six-figure salary from posting six videos a month. Now, take us through, when it comes to posting a video, how much time and energy is involved, in you thinking of a concept, you breaking out your camera? We're talking early days here. So, before you may have a team and all that. But you breaking out your camera and shooting the thing and reshooting it because you didn't realize there was something on the wall or whatever. Then, editing it and then doing whatever it takes to upload it, making sure the sound is right and all that.
[00:37:56] BG: As I mentioned, my earlier years in YouTube, I didn't put as much effort into each video, but I was making a lot of video. So, I probably was putting in the same amount of time. Back then, it was between edit because I did all my own editing. I did all planning the video, which was the part that I skimped on. But it would take me about seven hours to just edit the video, filming two or three hours depending on some different factors and planning. So, each video, and this is, like I said, during my lazy era, would be about maybe 10 hours invested into each video.
Now, I probably spend just on the script, I can spend two days on a script, just doing all the research, pulling data, doing different edits to the script, practicing the script. It takes a lot of time. The editing process is even more intricate, and then there's you got to film B roll. You got to film A roll. You have to make sure that your data, you're pulling peer-reviewed journals. Also, I have an editor now, but the process of setting up the video between the script, outline, and knowing where he should be putting the B roll, and knowing where there should be text on the screen and he haven't – that process alone probably takes me as long as it did for me to edit the videos in first place. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of effort. I'm just grateful that I enjoy it.
[00:39:31] LW: I think people may hear this and think to themselves, “Oh, that's too much work.” But whatever you're doing for your job, you're having to work a lot. So, at least in this situation, you're working for yourself and you get to reap the benefits of that video, accumulating views, and therefore income indefinitely, which is awesome. So, it's worth it to make it the best quality product available. Also, the competition is so high so you can really separate yourself by doing that backend work, the homework and get a lot of people linking to your video because it's accurate.
[00:40:05] BG: Yes, 100%.
[00:40:14] LW: As a case study, you decide you're going to go monk mode. The first time I think was a few years ago, maybe I don't remember exactly when. But I've noticed from being a fan of your channel that you oftentimes will create videos of your own personal life, your own personal experiences. I'm sure those get more views than if you just do an instructional video. But you kind of blend the two sometimes as well. But I'm not sure if it’s chicken comes first or the egg? Do you have the idea first? If you think I need to come up with a topic, that's going to get a lot of views, what can I do? And this other guy posted something about monk mode, maybe I'll try it and I'll get some benefit out of it or whatever.
Anyways, let's unpack that. Walk us through as a case study how authentic does it end up being do you have to like accentuate certain aspects to get more views? When you're putting it all together? Just talk about that about filming your personal life and what that's like.
[00:41:11] BG: I guess I'll start with the chicken before the egg question. I, 1,000% always just document my regular life. I've never had an intention to do a life experiment for content. I've never done anything for content, ever. Honestly, it probably has been a detriment to my content creator career. I have a good friend, a few good friends who are really successful in the music and entertainment industry. He’s like, “Yo, you take this authenticity thing a little too far”, because this is a part of being a content creator. You kind of got to just like –
[00:41:48] LW: You’re playing a character.
[00:41:49] BG: Yes. And I just can't get with that. It's just doesn't feel good to my spirit to do that. I haven't, right? But my life is like a movie. I don't need to do that. I feel like I don't. So, to answer that question now, yes, everything's been 1,000% authentic. I’ve never done anything for content. Fortunately, like I said, the way that I'm wired and the things that are meant to and the things that grab my attention are pretty interesting.
[00:42:17] LW: Talking about the process of that monk mode. What gave you the idea? And did you start filming it right away? Did you try it first? How do you record that? Let's say somebody out there wants to do an experiment of whatever, fasting, and they want to also start a YouTube channel. Walk us through your steps.
[00:42:35] BG: So, what happens is when you become a content creator, and you've done it long enough, you kind of live in document mode. It's always just, “Okay, what's going on?” I'm just going to document. I probably have documented way more that I haven't posted, than I have, for sure, right? Because I just document things. But the idea for monk mode came, I was reading Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting the Devil, which was a profound book that changed a lot for me. He spoke about semen retention and the power of holding that lifeforce energy, and transmuting it. I think that's how he referred to it, sexual transmutation, or your transmuting the sexual energy.
That's how the concept was introduced to me. I had just gotten out a relationship. And after I started learning about my patterns, and I was in therapy for a while. Initially, it was an attempt for me to break my pattern of serial monogamy, my serial dating. To give myself a buffer in between that relationship. It was like, “All right, well just commit to heart.” And I'm a zero or 100 kind of person, Light. I don't have a medium speed. I'm working on that, because this is important. But I went – after that breakup, I'm like, I need to – and I also understand how my mind works. I need the accountability. I need to have clear boundaries, clear parameters, and I have to have outside accountability as well, which is why me documenting and sharing has blessed me so much with weight loss, with fitness in general. I'm a man of integrity. I consider myself a man of virtue.
So, if I speak it, if I say it, if I claim it, if I teach it, then I have to live it. I have to. There's no negotiating on that. So, it is self-serving, because I know that if I make a video about it, there's absolutely no way that I'm not going to live it, period. The idea came from the Napoleon Hill book. I came out of their relationship and I just said, “Hey, let me just document with this life.” I did some research on it and people were speaking really highly about their experience with it, and yes, I gave it a shot and I documented it, and I think I made a 30-day update video, 60-day, 90-day, and yes, that content is pretty popular. I'm in the middle of a one right now, almost 100 days in to this current state of semen retention.
[00:45:18] LW: What is monk mode? Can you break down exactly what your version of monk mode? Because it went beyond just intercourse and sex and all that. It was also not drinking and other things.
[00:45:27] BG: Everyone has their own version of monk mode, right? I've had different versions, different seasons of monk mode with different, I guess, requirements or parameters or what have you. Each one is different. My first monk mode, it was no television. No, non-educational, television. Movies, whatever. There were no music with words. no alcohol, no sex, no orgasms at all. That was the first one. I recently, and if we have time, I want to get into this. Because the last 90 days of my life, Light, has probably been the most transformational quarter of my entire life. Where I was, and my vision for my life, and for my brand. And all of these things where I was 90 days ago, and where I am today, literally, figuratively, and physically, is totally different. My life has transformed. It started by – I started a 30-day and this was by far the most intense monk mode I've ever done. This was about three months ago. All of those things that I mentioned, no TV, no music, no sex, no orgasms. But then, I had to do an hour yoga every single day. I had to do 2 20-minute meditation sessions. I had to do three rounds of Wim Hof breathing, and a cold shower every day, every single day. I had to do 100 pushups, all of those things. So, this is like a list.
[00:47:08] LW: Sounds like you're preparing to fight Darth Vader or something.
[00:47:11] BG: Bro, but let me tell you, it opened a portal that shifted my entire timeline. It shifted my entire timeline. Yes, it was an intense practice. But there was so much healing that was initiated from that season and I learned so much about myself. I've leveled up on so many fronts because of it. So, that's a part of the reason why I'm such an advocate for this practice. But now, I'm at day 90 something because I ended up starting over, from then. But yes, it's been mind-blowing, mind-blowing if I got into the details.
[00:47:54] LW: I don't want to get too personal, but I know you get personal in your vlogs. I thought you would start seeing someone recently. How do you navigate that with monk mode?
[00:48:03] BG: What I'm doing right now is not – I'm not in monk mode. I'm doing semen retention.
[00:48:08] LW: Okay, same thing. How do you retain your semen when you start seeing someone?
[00:48:11] BG: I just don't release, and that's something that I've learned to do over time, kind of dulling the blade.
[00:48:20] LW: What are the mechanics of that? I'm sure it's not as easy as it sounds.
[00:48:25] BG: No. It took time. There's a practice called edging. You have sex up into you feel yourself about to release, and then you just stop, and you kind of regroup, and then you go back. You kind of do that, but over time you start to build the, I guess, resistance and the control. So, I've been practicing that for a while, right? It's been about three years that I've been practicing edging, because even when I'm sexually active, and I'm not in “monk mode”, or I'm not in semen retention mode, I'm still very mindful about how often I release. I don't just release. Even when I'm not in monk mode, I don't release every time. I probably release one out of maybe three times, period. But at all times. So, I've practiced the edging, and now it's – I'm not going to lie and say it's not – it is challenging. But I feel like I want to go on – do I want to say this here? Yes, I've mastered it. I think I've mastered it.
[00:49:27] LW: What's the prologue you have to give to your partner, so that they're also holding that space for you and not feeling offended, or not feeling any kind of way that you're not? Because that's a part of the experience, I'm sure for the other person, right?
[00:49:42] BG: For sure. I'm a communicator. So, before sex is even on the table, these conversations are had about my lifestyle, and my beliefs, and that sort of thing. So, the preliminary, very early conversations kind of take care of it. It plants the seed. I also educate. The person I'm dating right now is significantly younger than me. So, I've been educating her on this stuff, and she gets it, she understands it. She doesn't take it personally. But I have had issues with that in the past, where it affects their self-esteem and that sort of thing. But I honestly think it's made me a better lover, to be honest.
[00:50:27] LW: You've also been known to bring your partners into your vlogs. How has that worked out for you? Is that something you recommend to content creators, to involve the whole family and also partners?
[00:50:39] BG: It depends on how thick your skin is. It depends on how okay you are with your human-ness. Because for instance, people have gotten on Kim K for over the years for having all these partners and then, have been married so many times. But a lot of people do that. When it's in public, it's just different, right? Everyone has an opinion. So, it just depends on how you deal with scrutiny from the public. I personally don't care. It doesn't bother me. I know myself. I know my heart. I know my intentions. I know, my partners. Me and my partners have no bad blood with any person I've ever been. So, I mean, it just depends. I'm going to continue to do it.
[00:51:21] LW: It's kind of a way to hold yourself accountable too, because you put yourself out there like that. You kind of have to follow through on whatever it is you're talking about. At least you think about that in the back of your mind.
[00:51:31] BG: Yes, for sure.
[00:51:32] LW: Now, we have a specific topic, no fap, monk mode, and you're creating videos and content regularly. When you dive into a subject like that, is this something that as a content creator, you would revisit multiple times, especially if you see that it gets a lot of attention from your audience? Or is it like a one-and-done, I'm moving on to the next thing, I got to be more creative type of a situation.
[00:51:59] BG: Like I said, Light, I live and then I document. I should be more intentional than I am. But I don't. It just doesn't feel authentic. It is feels forced and I can't do things that feel forced. So, the seasons of monk mode come when they come, and that's when – excuse the pun there, and that's when I make videos about it. It's not like, I'm like, “Oh man, I need to revisit this monk mode or the semen retention topic. Let me do a monk mode stint.” No. It just doesn't work like that. I kind of just – I'm a very – I live intuitively and I just document.
[00:52:37] LW: For the women listening to this, is there a female equivalent of monk mode? Is it useful for women to do something like this?
[00:52:44] BG: I think it's useful, but not in the same ways as it is for men, right? For men, it's the transmutation of the lifeforce energy. I don't think it works that way. I think it's good for creating space for themselves to focus on themselves and heal and that sort of thing. But I don't think the physiological and spiritual benefits are equivalent, not based on what I've researched.
[00:53:22] LW: Going back to the YouTube stuff, you want to get to a million subscribers. So, what are you going to do now to get these 200 and, what is it, 49,000 subscribers?
[00:53:34] BG: I'm going to treat every video like I have one swing at saving the lives of my audience. If I had one chance to make the most impactful video, that's the energy I’m going into every single video, and that's how I'm going to achieve that goal.
[00:53:53] LW: Now, you're planning. Your pre-planning the video days out, perhaps even weeks out. You have a team working for you.
[00:54:01] BG: Yes, all of it. There's so much batch and sweat that goes into each of these videos now, and I'm just far more intentional. I figured out the formula. So, I'm excited.
[00:54:17] LW: What are some other ways to monetize this channel? You mentioned merchandise earlier. How's that working?
[00:54:23] BG: Merch does well. But what didn't do well, for me was starting my own clothing line. Because it's a big difference and I'm going to share this with any prospective or aspiring content creators or YouTubers. There's a big difference between selling merch and selling a clothing line. It's a separate brand, right? Your merch is attached to your brand, which is already established if you have an audience. But if you launch a clothing line, it has its own identity that you have to promote and familiarize the folks with. It's not just this automatic, “Oh, Brix started a clothing line, let me support it.” It didn't work like that. And I thought it did because my merch sold like crazy. I would sell out every single time. I had merch.
That was a big lesson. But yes, so merch definitely has been – I've been successful with merch. Obviously, collaborating with brands, getting sponsored content, membership community, downloadables, like digital products, courses, coaching. Sometimes I'll do consultations like people pay me for an hour of my time and that's another way.
[00:55:33] LW: Do you get paid to go to gyms and work out and film yourself working on people's gyms and things like that?
[00:55:39] BG: No. I just get free gym memberships.
[00:55:42] LW: And how many subs do you have to have before you start to then branch off into those other areas? Get merch going, and get the online courses, the downloadables, and all that?
[00:55:54] BG: It depends a lot on your niche. It depends on the space that you're in, because like my best friend is a YouTuber as well. He made a million dollars on his channel before he even reached 10,000 subscribers. So, it depends on your space, but he also teaches financial education to entrepreneurs. That says a lot about the ability to monetize that audience. It depends. And it also depends on the type of relationship that you have with your audience. If your relationship with your audience is deep, you don't have to have a million subscribers. You can have a couple of thousand subscribers, if 75% of them are supporting whatever you're putting out, right? And you have a $10, $20, $50 product, then yes, you can make a living off of 10,000 subscribers, right? So, it just depends. There's a lot of factors that goes into that.
[00:56:49] LW: To cultivate that deep relationship, you have to be all up in the comments all the time. Is that how it works?
[00:56:54] BG: That's a big part of it, initially, when you're building a foundation. A lot of my audience was grass rooted. I will respond to every single comment. I would ask every single person to subscribe. But I think it also has to do with the heart in your content. My, I guess, formula for connecting with my audience is my transparency, my vulnerability. I share things that a lot of creators are afraid to share. I think that's why I connect so well with my audience.
[00:57:24] LW: Beautiful. Last few questions I want to hear what was your biggest mistake as a creator? What was your biggest challenge? And what was your luckiest break? Start with mistake, your biggest mistake that you can reflect back on?
[00:57:41] BG: I have such a good relationship with failure, Light, that I hate to even call it a mistake. But to answer it because I know what you're asking me –
[00:57:50] LW: Yes, something you would do differently if you knew better now.
[00:57:54] BG: I wouldn't do – I don't live like that. I really don't. That's just an honest response to that. I don't have regrets. I wouldn't change anything. I feel like everything is divine, so I wouldn't change anything. But to give you a response, I would say I would have put this level of intention into my videos a lot sooner, if I can go back and do anything different. But I wouldn't even do that, because I probably wasn't ready for the success that I'm about to experience had I started sooner. So, it feels divine. Everything is in divine timing.
[00:58:29] LW: Love that. Biggest challenge?
[00:58:32] BG: I've been in relationships with partners who didn't handle the attention well. So, on the personal life front, that was a big challenge. I feel like one of my relationships, the social media thing is probably the reason why it didn't work. But in the end, it was supposed to work out that way. And I think also healing and growing in front of the world is hard. It is hard. But at the same time, it's something that I'm very comfortable doing. Light, I'm a delusional optimist. Everything's going to kind of feel like it serves me, because it really does. I feel like it all serves me.
But yes, I think the challenge of healing and growing and being so transparent in front of the audience, the challenges in that is by design. It all feels like a part of the puzzle, for sure. Again, this are just my honest responses to that. I'm really good at manipulating my perspective on things. But it doesn't even feel like manipulation. This is just my default way of viewing things, for sure.
[00:59:41] LW: And then luckiest break?
[00:59:43] BG: Definitely that viral video, the initial transformation video going viral, because that's the thing that set everything off. That had to be my luckiest break and how it came together so effortlessly. That wasn't me. It definitely wasn't me. It definitely was a lucky break.
[01:00:00] LW: What can we do to support your mission of, it's not about getting to a million, it's really about impact, and the million is just a reflection of the impact you're having. But how can we help you in that mission?
[01:00:11] BG: I think for anyone listening, check out my content, and give me feedback. Tear it apart. That's how you can help me the most. Give me insight on how I can be better, how I can serve you better.
[01:00:26] LW: I love that. It's so spiritually mature, man. You just lifted the bar for all of us. Thank you so much.
[01:00:34] BG: That means a lot coming from you, Light.
[01:00:37] LW: I feel like anybody asking for raw feedback, you're really putting yourself in a higher tier of soul growth and spiritual development. So, thanks for reflecting that back for myself, as well as for the audience.
[01:00:51] BG: Thank you.
[01:00:53] LW: Yes, man, and we got to get you back down to Mexico City soon too.
[01:00:55] BG: For sure. Yes, I'm ready.
[01:00:58] LW: What's the plan now? The last time I talked, you were going to spend more time in Mexico. Has the plan shifted to something else?
[01:01:05] BG: Yes. So, I don't know if I shared this with you. But maybe about six weeks ago, I was in meditation. I came out of meditation, which something like an alarm going off in my spirit. It was around my kids. It was a nudge to revisit the conversation with my kids’ mom about my role as their dad, right? Because she was always the primary parent. There was a lot of things that happened that I kind of was like, “Hey, man, a lot of that's out of my control. So, let me just kind of play this role, this little pocket, focus on your mission, make sure that you can pay for everyone's college, and kind of let her handle the day-to-day.”
But in meditation, and this was after I put a deposit down on my apartment in Playa Del Carmen. In meditation, I felt the inspiration to revisit the conversation, and I talked to her about it and I asked her. I said, “Hey, I'm seeing some things, specifically with my son, that I'm feeling concerned about, that I feel like I need to prepare him for manhood.” He's 15. He has another three years until he's an adult, and there's certain lessons and habits and things that he needs, and tools, tools he needs that he didn't have. I’ve seen the path that he was on. So, I asked her, I'm like, “Hey, this is coming from source, this is coming from a divine inspiration, and I'm just kind of throwing this out there. I would love for you to give me custody of my son.” She cried.
But long story short, I ended up getting full custody of my son. So, two days ago, me and him moved into a house here in Virginia. That was one of the biggest shifts that came out of that monk mode period that I talked about, that intense 30 days. Because I'm deep into meditation, I'm journaling, I'm off social media. That part too, that was another huge part. I'm limiting my social media contact. I have a team, so I can still have my presence. But yes, that was a huge shift.
Now, I'm a full-time dad. I have my son, which I haven't had full custody of my son since he was five years old. So, this is a huge shift. I'm here in Virginia, but I'm excited about it. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice. It feels like this is where I should be, like right now, in this season of my life. This is what I should be doing and I'm excited about it.
[01:03:36] LW: Beautiful, so you're there indefinitely then?
[01:03:39] BG: Yes.
[01:03:40] LW: You've had so many different iterations living in a van and –
[01:03:45] BG: Let me tell you, Light. What's happened recently too, over the last three months, I've done so much healing, that my motor has changed. The van life saga, and me always traveling, and me not being able to sit my ass down. It was me trying to fill a void. I realized that now, because now all I crave is simplicity. I crave – I don't want any attention. I just want to live a simple life connected to nature, where I can protect my rituals, I can do my meditation, and my yoga every day, and eat healthy food, and have fresh produce. These are the only things that matter to me now, right?
Now, I have this vision now, I want to family. I want to do it again. That was never the case for me, ever. It wasn't the case. That is all I want now. I don't want to travel anymore. I don't want to become this big traveling jet – I don't want to do that shit anymore. I have zero desire for it anymore. So, it's just been – that’s one of the biggest shifts and we'll have more conversations about this stuff, man, but my entire vision for my future has changed significantly over the last 90 days.
[01:04:58] LW: Love it, man. Well, we have our homework, go to your channel, which is called Brix Fitness on YouTube, and check out your content, and give you our feedback. Together we'll make this mission happen, and you'll be at a million subs by the end of the year. You'll be sending all of us our royalty checks for helping you make that happen.
[01:05:23] BG: Thanks in advance.
[01:05:24] LW: Yes, yes, yes. All right, bro. Good to see you, man. As always.
[01:05:29] LW: Thank you so much for listening to my interview with Brix Fitness. For more inspiration, please subscribe to his YouTube channel, which is Brix Fitness. As he requested, check out some of his videos and offer some constructive feedback. You can also follow Brix on the socials, it's @brixfitness. Of course, I'll drop links to everything that we discussed in the show notes on my website, which is lightwatkins.com/podcast.
Speaking of feedback, since you're in the spirit of sharing your thoughts, please, please leave a review for my podcast, The Light Watkins Show. It's honestly the best way that you can support this show. Because, look, let's just be completely transparent. One of the ways that a potential guest will vet this podcast after I invite them to come onto the show, is they'll go to the actual podcast page, and they'll look and see how many reviews and ratings this show half. And that tells that potential guest that this podcast is one that people are engaging with. They're listening to it, they're commenting on it, and that it's worth their time to accept my invitation to come on.
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You can also watch these interviews on my YouTube channel if you want to put a face to personality. Just search Light Watkins podcast on YouTube and you'll see the entire playlist. If you didn't already know, I post the raw unedited version of every podcast in my Happiness Insiders Online Community. So, if you're the type that likes to hear all the mistakes and the false starts and the chit chat in the beginning and the end of each episode, you can listen to all of that by joining my online community at thehappinessinsiders.com. Not only will you have access to the unedited versions of the podcast, but you'll also have access to my 108-day meditation challenge, along with other challenges and master classes for becoming the best version of you.
All right, I look forward to hopefully seeing you back here next week with another story about someone just like me, just like you, taking a leap of faith in the direction of their purpose. Until then, keep trusting your intuition, keep following your heart, keep taking those leaps of faith in your life. It’s super important. If no one's told you recently that they believe in you, I believe in you. Thank you and have a great day.