A few YouTubers go from having a hobby to creating their dream paid job. By being entrepreneurial, working hard in teams and running the numbers.

To foster digital education and prepare young people best for a changing world, digitalswitzerland launched the «nextgeneration» platform. Within «nextgeneration», six high quality initiatives are offering learning opportunities around building digital competencies and skills. We asked the people behind those initiatives why the talents of tomorrow need new skills, what the benefits of these will be, and if there are inspirational stories, from which we can learn. The first insight comes from Nina Reinhart, founder of Ginger.

What we can learn from YouTubers

(content provided by Nina Reinhart, founder of Ginger)

My daughter recently asked me how come YouTubers have a great life and “do nothing”. She showed me Brandon Amato’s video “Following my dreams changed my life” where he enters a plane heading to sunny California. We started examining the anatomy of the YouTuber and discovered some business wisdom worth learning as young as possible.

I am too old to figure out all secrets of YouTubers. As an entrepreneur, I can say this: if you don’t have the wealth to pay for your lifestyle, you must figure out how to make your hobby pay you. My daughter and I drafted a list of key success factors:

  • Learn to dream: Brandon was convinced there is a better life than the one he had. Dreaming, even better, creating a vision for yourself, is key for entrepreneurs. Envisioning a better and more meaningful life and work can be learned.
  • Take risks with confidence (life is full of them!): leaving one’s job like Brandon did may not be so easy when you don’t have another one waiting for you. As a parent, I would not recommend Brandon’s approach but there are many ways of identifying risks and minimizing them, if they are worth taking. All this can be learned too!
  • Develop a branded product until it becomes useful to others willing to pay for it: Brandon must have spent sleepless nights editing videos before developing videos branded with a recognizable feel and look. My daughter and I agreed that Coca-Cola may notice him and soon ask him to hold a bottle in his hands for advertising he would get paid to do.
  • Find a business model: Brandon must have studied how YouTube and Google Ads work while gathering his 658’000 followers. Do your homework to understand your costs, your revenue and how much money will be left in your hands in a decent amount of time for you to remain motivated.
  • Learn to collaborate: yes, there may be lone YouTubers out there but for most businesses to grow, a team is essential. Brandon works with friends to shoot the images, recommend beautiful places and probably even provide him with video content, music and storytelling ideas.
  • Being innovative: Brandon did not invent anything new. He may in the future, and this may strengthen his business. Perhaps he will do videos for charities or sport companies, become an advertising agency, or specialize in marine life videos for a university project. With all the technology available today, innovation is more accessible to all. Brandon will for sure have to think about how to maintain the interest of his followers and potential clients over time. Ultimately, someone needs to be convinced to open their wallet and pay him so he can have the lifestyle he wants. This would be the healthy way to go about it (vs taking debt or being in debt).

Many other skills and knowledge are needed to be a great entrepreneur. Ginger’s Summer Day Camps in at EPFL Lausanne and Universität Zürich are meant to inspire teenagers aged 12 to 15 or 15-19 years old to discover their potential and the fascinating world of technology and entrepreneurship, whether it’s to launch a business or to make the world a better place. Students work in small teams to discover a business idea and work 5 days to develop a business plan with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and its key marketing and financial elements. They present their work with pride and passion at the end of the week to their friends and family. Read here how previous teams have developed innovative school services, Uber like apps for more parking spaces in towns and hearing devices to filter undesirable noises in public transportation and many more!

About digitalswitzerland|«nextgeneration»:

digitalswitzerland nextgeneration is connecting six high quality education initiatives in Switzerland, all offering camps with a unique learning program in the areas of robotics, entrepreneurship, gaming, programming and computational thinking. The summer camps are open for kids aged 6 to 19 and are taking place in all Swiss regions. In a playful way, the children and youngsters acquire digital competencies and entrepreneurial skills, which prepare them for the world of tomorrow. Stay tuned and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Nina Reinhart is founder of Ginger, a non-profit organisation based in Switzerland which provides High Tech Entrepreneurship camps to 11-19 years old students in Europe. Its mission is to inspire young people to discover their potential and the fascinating world of technology and entrepreneurship. Ginger is part of the digitalswitzerland nextgeneration initiative.