My YouTube Story (Why I Started The Josh Speaks)


Heya playa, this is a question I’m sure a lot of you guys have asked before. What inspired me to start The Josh Speaks? Today I want to quickly walk you through the history as to why I started my channel and what I want to do with it. So sit tight because this is going to be the real story behind The Josh Speaks.

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Before I started doing any kind of motivational videos, I used to record me and my friends backyard wrestling. We would get together every weekend at the park and record our wrestling matches for YouTube. Now at the time, we weren’t really focused on building a channel. We just needed a place to host our content. Wrestling’s Future Athletes. We did that for several years on end until we finally put an end to it in 2009.

And then picking up from that, me and my coworker at the time decided to start doing YouTube videos under the channel GoTubeGirl. They were focused on outrageous comedy with her doing crazy things. And that channel finally came to a close as well which led to me and my friends developing a new channel called Alliance Adventures which was focused on us doing crazy kind of skits.

So all this video work happened before The Josh Speaks and I had traveled to my first VidCon with the intention to grow our comedy channel. Meanwhile, I wanted to start working on individual projects on my own to start building out a portfolio. This led me to take on my very first video project, it was going to be a 30 second ad for a little league basketball team. Seems pretty simple, I just had to show up, record a bunch of little kids play basketball, turn it into something cool and then boom. First video project done.

So the day had finally come where I was going to get ready to record this video project. Now, they were meeting really early in the morning, I think it was maybe 8 o’ clock or 7 on a Sunday. Most of you guys aren’t from New York but on the weekends the subway tends to run really crappy. I packed up all my video equipment. I had my tripod, my camera, my microphone, everything all in a huge bag lugging it on to the train. And when I got to the train, I saw that I had to ride it all the way in the opposite direction to the final stop and then all the way back into the city.

Now this is not something I planned ahead for, and I even did my first YouTube video on that which I’m gonna get to in a second. So I rode the train for my 8 o’ clock meeting and by the time I got off the train, not even getting to the place it was already 8:10. So I’m running as fast as I can, sweat is dripping down my face and I’m looking at my phone to see how I can get there. And when I finally did show up, it was already 8:30 so I went up the stairs and went up to the class and saw all the kids packing up to leave. And as I headed over to the coach that I originally made the plans with, he just shook his head sadly and told me “sorry buddy, we’re not doing the video”. I was crushed, literally crushed.

This was my first video project and I already screwed it up. In that moment I felt like the biggest failure ever. I walked down the stairs with my camera equipment and I didn’t know what to do. It was 8:30 in the morning, the sun was shining and here I am covered in sweat holding all this heavy equipment sitting in a park. I found a bench all the way in the corner where I could just sit by myself and sulk in my own misery.

Since I had my camera equipment on me, I decided you know what, I’ll make a quick video explaining why you should plan ahead. This first video was called “The Josh Speaks about Planning Ahead”. I called myself The Josh as a joke, why does The Rock call himself The Rock? And after I recorded that first video I really liked doing it so I recorded another one. And with two videos under my belt, I headed on home feeling like I had accomplished at least something. Later on that night I had edited my videos, put them up on YouTube and just shared it off with my friends. And of course, your friends usually think anything you put up is kind of cool so I kept making more videos.

I started to think about different books I was reading, things I had learned, just generally information I wanted to share, just wrote it up into a script and made it into a video. Before I knew it, I was traveling to different parts all across Brooklyn every single weekend to record three videos at once. Still there was no consistent theme behind The Josh Speaks, just the fact that these were things I enjoyed talking about. And as I kept making videos, getting my momentum going, my Google Adsense account had gotten blocked.

I don’t know why it got blocked and I don’t know how it got blocked, I didn’t really know much about Google Adsense other than it just ran ads on my videos. And it wasn’t until I had went to VidCon that year and talked to the YouTube network Fullscreen that I had figured out what Adsense was, how to monetize my channel and how to really grow a brand on a YouTube channel. My return from VidCon felt like Moses holding two tablets, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to turn my channel into an advice channel. Teaching things that I had learned all throughout my life.

This is where the channel started to take shape, and it was you guys that actually started to leave comments and suggesting videos to get me to really think about what I wanted to say. And as time went on, I realized the journey I was making was to learn how to be my best self and that is what I wanted to share. Looking back at some of my older videos, I’m kind of embarrassed. They were silly, they were stupid, I cursed a lot and I did lots of dumb things.

But where I stand now, I’m incredibly proud of the community we have built together, you guys really make The Josh Speaks what it is. And that’s where we stand today, The Josh Speaks started by accident and I didn’t set out to make it, I only made it because I failed first.

And that’s perhaps the biggest thing I want you guys to take away, just because you fail at something doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you, in fact my failure actually was the beginning.

What do you think though, what was the last thing you failed on? Share it in the comments section below and maybe we can find a way together to turn it around into something cool.

As always guys, love and peace.