Mahrukh Imtiaz

Himanshu smiling as he stands in front of an American flag.

Journey from 0 to 50,000 YouTube subscribers within a Year with Indian Man in America

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If you are looking to start creating content on YouTube, then this episode is for you. In this episode, Himanshu and I discuss how Youtube changed his life.  We talk about the challenges that come up with being a YouTube creator, the benefits of being a YouTube creator and tactical advice for anyone wanting to start on Youtube today.

“I really wish I had started documenting my journey at the age of 18.”

INDIAN MAN IN AMERICA

 

Highlights from this episode: 

[1:20] Himanshu’s journey as a Youtube creator
[4:56] Why Himanshu chose Youtube
[7:26] Why it’s important to start documenting your journey
[9:45] Advice for people in their 20s wanting to start YouTube
[21:40] How does one stay patient during the journey
[32:15] What benefits does having 90k subscribers provide?
[40:40] What fears did Himanshu have when he was starting and which ones does he have now?

Connect with Indian Man in America:

Website
Instagram
YouTube

A little bit about Himanshu:

Himanshu moved to America in 2006 from India as an international student. He started his Youtube channel in 2021 to document his life’s diary, allowing him to bridge the cultural gap. He now has 89,000 subscribers with 85 videos up and 5 of these videos have over 70,000 views.

 

Episode Transcript

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Our guest today has started creating YouTube videos about a year ago. In this short time, it’s only 26 videos up, he now has 55,000 subscribers on YouTube. And within those 26 videos, five videos have over 70,000 views. Talk about amazing engagement. Welcome to the show, Indian man in America.

Indian Man in America: Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I’m really excited to have you on. So tell us a bit more about your journey. Who are you? Why started YouTube channel? Why start a YouTube channel, about what you have started?

Indian Man in America: Sure. So as the name of my channel suggests, I am the Indian Man In America. There are many Indian people in America, of course. But I moved here, when I moved here from India when I was 18 years old. And I should have started my channel then because, you know, an immigrants journey. When you move to a different country, it’s very interesting, you experience a lot of new things. 

And there are a lot of people who also wish to move here to the US. And so,  just if I wish I had that, I wish I could have seen a channel where someone would have led the way, you know what I mean, and really shared their honest and true experience. And authentic experience. And authenticity is what I’m trying to bring to my channel with my videos. 

And this way I could share my experiences in America with the people either in India or anywhere else that are trying to migrate here. But I should have started then, however, you know, it’s never too late. And I’m starting it now, in order to share my experiences with my family, predominantly, back in India, who has no idea what my life is like, even after all these years. 

And, you know, people there, they assume a lot of things because they watch television, and they think this is what America must be like and, and with my channel, I can be like, Oh, actually, America is very different than what you know because they see New York. You know, they see LA and I live in Seattle. Which is kind of a city but I also live in a rural community in Seattle, just a little bit north of Seattle, actually. 

So people in India have not experienced the things that I’m showing on my channel, basically. And so which means that most of my audience while they’re still in India, there’s people watching from all over the world, have interests in agriculture. I’m building a tiny house on wheels, you know, so  I’ve got a lot of different sort of niches or niches. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, both work. Yeah. that’s incredible. So like, when you were starting this journey, I mean, you want to educate mostly Indians on your life in America. And you want to show them a different side, aside from the New York and Chicago. Which is you’re right like the image always comes out for like, LA Disney World, the busy New York city, You never think of places like let’s say, Texas, or, you know, Seattle or Utah, you know? 

And I know why that same thing happens in Canada, for me at least where if I send pictures of summer, they’re like, oh, Canada has summer? Well, yes, it does. Snow is not all we have. That is certainly interesting. But what made you choose YouTube, there were so many different channels and platforms, why YouTube?

Indian Man in America: So when I first moved to America, I was a student and my major at that time was Media Studies. And so I was really interested in the media altogether. But at the time, I did not have the foresight to start a channel, and then YouTube was brand new. Also was very hard to see, you know, if only I knew what I know. like I said, I should have started the channel then. 

I’m 32 years old now. And I was 18 years old when I moved here and all the experiences that I’ve had, I would have loved to document that on YouTube or even on a blog. So the medium really is in that way not  that important, but video was something that could share the most authentic experiences where you know, if I have a camera on and I’m interacting with somebody I can actually document the entire thing and I don’t have to explain it. 

People can see it and video, you know, like this say, what is it a picture speaks 1000 words. And you know, a video must speak million. So that was the reason for video. And back when I was studying media studies, I did learn video production a little bit, but then I quit and then switch to software engineering.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: How typical.

Indian Man in America: How classic.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Follow the non traditional route.

Indian Man in America: Well, I went with the Indian dream, I will move to America and I will become a software engineer.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, and I’m doing an MBA after I can’t, I can’t

Indian Man in America: Yeah, so a little bit of tradition, but mostly my path has been very different. At and, you know, anytime you’re on your own path and different paths, you’re gonna run into a lot of resistance, especially if you have Indian, you know, families and people in your family that are, that are sort of with that, you know, in that realm. 

But yeah, so you the main reason for YouTube is because they can, they can see more in video, and I had some prior experience with video production. And so it seemed like the obvious thing to do and YouTube, what well, so Tik Tok has video as well. But it’s, I can’t do Tiktok, it’s just, it’s too small to share a story. I mean, it’s too short of a video to share a story, but it is, I assume it’s a good challenge, and people are doing it. 

So but I prefer you to, because, you know, it’s just long enough. And I can share my story. That way, and the comments are great. The comment section is where I can actually feel like I’m interacting with people. And I’m meeting people on YouTube, in the comments from it from parts of India, which I have never even been to. 

So being this far away from home. It’s like, this is a unique way of connecting with people back in India. And so I’m trying to have the best of both worlds, be in America be an American citizen, but at the same time not forget my roots.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You said quite a few things there that I want to dive deeper into for sure. One thing you said it, like you’ve said this couple of times, if I knew what I know, now, I would have documented earlier. So a lot of people listening today are in the midst of making that decision. 

They want to start content, they’ve been lazy, or they’ve been procrastinating or they just don’t know what to say. And you’ve talked about documenting the journey and knowing what you know now. So can you dive deeper into what that means?

Indian Man in America: Sure. I think a lot of folks underestimate. And I for sure did, what your experience in the world is like, I moved to America, for me that was like, there were so many different things that were happening at that time that I was distracted from thinking about, Oh, this is actually an experience that should be shared. 

You know, and so a lot of people underestimate when they’re experiencing something, they underestimate that it would be interesting to somebody else. So I spent, what, almost 15 years thinking, my story is not interesting for anybody, or any number of reasons to tell yourself not to publish or not to share. 

And, and of course, you’re experiencing it. So you’re busy. You know, and so a lot of people are not thinking I want to create because creating also takes a lot of time. And especially when you move when you This is an immigrant journey, right? 

So when you make this move, of course, you’re busy figuring out how you’re going to make money, how you’re going to live, you know, relationships support all of that, by the time you think about, oh, this is an interesting experience that I should probably share, you know, you’re at a stage where you’re now somewhat comfortable in life, you know what I mean? 

So, so for me, like, at least financially, I’m a little bit more comfortable now in my 30s. And I have the time to spend on video production, which it takes, you know, I haven’t, I’m still I’m only a year old on YouTube, you know, and so each of these videos actually take me significant amount of time every week, you know, anywhere between 10 to 15 hours. So that’s like a lot of time to spend. 

So most people when they’re busy in their lives experiencing the things that they’re going through, they may not have that kind of time on their hands, they might not have the financial resources to even buy a camera or, you know, so that was the main reason why I couldn’t have done it.

 But I wish I could have it because the all those stories that I’ve missed to share with the world, I’m sure people would have enjoyed it and and they would have seen it. And probably they would have been beneficial to them in some way.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s very interesting. It’s interesting that you say that, like it does help that you do have the financial privilege now more than you did in your 20s worth it and also like have some maybe equipment and time. 

So then for those people who don’t have that luxury right now and are in their 20s What would you say to them in terms of documenting their journey?

Indian Man in America: Sure. So what I would say is like, YouTube and media, and publishing is actually a lot more economical now. You know, affording a GoPro, what, eight or nine years ago was different than affording one now. And also the path was not very clear. Back then today, it’s a lot less risky to publish. 

Back then if you were trying to consistently publish video and tell somebody, okay, this is I’m trying to develop this side hustle business slash business slash, share my stories, you know, on YouTube, and see if I can carve my own path or even a second career or a third. 

Or, you know, if you were to say that there was a lot of risk there, because, you know, the pioneers, were at some famous names Casey Neistat, or whoever else, like the pioneers had not yet set the stage. And we hadn’t seen, there are platforms now available, for example, that will help creators find businesses that want to promote their products.

 And so there’s a whole economy now, and the path is very clear. It’s, it’s basically like, Oh, you’re gonna go get a job? Make some money? Why? Why do people say, You should do that? Because the path is clear. I’m gonna make it making Yes.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? There’s a lot of role models out there. And there’s a lot of people doing this. And and yeah, no, I certainly that certainly makes a lot of sense to me. 

Indian Man in America: And I think I would add also, it’s, it’s no longer as expensive because the video quality on cameras is great, like, no longer do you need a professional camera, I can I use my iPhone. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Exactly. And that’s all you need to just record a video, you don’t need a GoPro, you don’t need a professional camera. And you can end right now software is a lot cheaper, there are a lot of free software’s as well. So it’s an it’s so easy to learn through YouTube tutorials. 

So I do agree like it is a lot more accessible to people who are listening to this and are in the middle of like, well, I don’t have anything to say, and I need to be get somewhere. Just document your journey. It’s kind of what I’m doing also, right? 

Like, I’m kind of just like documenting the whole journey of being a creator, documenting struggles documenting things I’m learning. And that’s really the process. I feel like when I look at a decade back, I’d be like, Well, that was my first podcast episode, or that was my first video, that’s kind of what gets me go out of that happens to so

Indian Man in America: All the time. I’m just watching some of the even when I watched some of the previous videos, only a year ago that I’ve published and what I’ve published now, now that there’s some 50, some 1000 people actually interested. 

I was publishing at zero people. And I was trying to publish a video hoping someone might run into it, they might find it interesting. But my primary audience was my, basically my parents, and, you know, siblings, because ultimately, they don’t know what America what my life is like in America, they were always worried. 

My dad would tell me to put a jacket on before leaving the house. I’m like, I’m 32 years old, I think I can figure that much out. You know, and, and so I was like, Well, it’s because he doesn’t know, you know, what my life is like. 

So at that time, it was easier to so so at that time, it was easier to just put something out and you know, the only people watching or my parents. But now that there’s 50,000 people sort of somewhat interested. The video quality’s a little bit better. Already. A year later. I’m like, Oh, I can’t even watch the original videos anymore, because those are junk.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I know, I do that with my own videos. I’m like, Well, what’s your thinking then? Like, you know, yeah, it’s It’s definitely like a learning process. And I feel like the more we do it, the faster we learn. I’ve never learned by watching others, I’ve just learned by doing it. Like at least that’s been my process. 

So there’s like a lot of things I want to actually go deeper in what you said already. You talked about and I’ll go with that. You talked about video production, and then also choosing YouTube because you were able to tell your story. 

So first, I want to dive deeper into the video production. What does that look for look like for you? Like, let’s talk through shooting the video. Then sitting down? Like can you break that down to people who are considering your YouTube channel?

Indian Man in America: Sure. So for me, like I said, I started with my parents and as my primary audience and family. And I think staying true to that has helped in the initial stages of my growth here. 

Because if if the video was good enough for my family, that was good enough for me if I was able to share my experience in America, so guess I’m building a tiny house so some of my videos are about DIY carpentry stuff. 

So while I’m building something I can just sort of record myself with whatever camera I have available. The best one is the one you have on you, right and so if I have whatever equipment I have, I’m going to Put it on, I’m going to start recording basically.

But it starts with project that you’re going to be building, especially with the DIY videos. So before I even shoot something, you know, I have to, personally, I have to make sure that I’m shooting something interesting. 

If it’s interesting to me, then I’m interested in creating the whole video. So if it’s not interesting to me, you know, I’ll get bored during the edit, you know, so I’ll stop recording, I’ll go back and do something different.

So that’s happened to me where I’ve quit projects midweek. I’ve quit videos midway, I’ve started recording, and then I just completely scrap it and start over and do a different project altogether. 

So yeah, you go out and whatever experience you’re having, you’re building something, you’re, you’re on a vacation, you’re traveling, whatever it is, it starts there, right. But I don’t do it, it’s not reversed. It’s not that I’m doing those things, just to record a video, I’m already going to be doing those things. 

So I bring a camera along. And so I’ll record it, and over time, it will get easier. My first few videos, it was boring, I wasn’t very comfortable speaking to the camera out there in public, you know. And then the more you do it, the more comfortable you get. 

Now, when I’m out there in public, and I have a GoPro and I’m recording, I’m like, you know, this is fine, because there’s a lot of people already expecting people with cameras out there. So see, it gets easier. 

And also a lot more people are forgiving now, because this is the world we live in. We share everything. So people are more comfortable being on camera being recorded. So I’ll record it. I’ll record my experience. 

And I’ll bring it back. I’ll try to copy it over to my computer right away. And then usually, I’ll edit on the weekend. And so all week long, I’m doing something, I’m doing things that are sort of interesting to me every day. 

But then I’ll bring the camera only on one of those days. And then I’ll edit on the weekend. And I’ll publish on Saturday. Because it’s Sunday in India, which is when they’re watching stuff. So the time difference is interesting, too.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: So yeah, no, and that’s fair. And then like so do you do have something in mind in terms of what you want to record? I would say like somewhat of a script, but like or some sort of like an objective for the video. And then that’s when you start shooting is that yeah, exactly.

Indian Man in America: So when I first started out, I did not have any script, any idea what I was doing. So now that I’ve published a few have seen what works, what doesn’t work. And I’m still learning of course.

So say it’s a DIY video, I’m building a chicken coop or something, you know, and so there’s a clear beginning, middle and an end there, you’re gonna start with the materials, you’re gonna do the build. And then you’ll say what you how it turned out what you think about. So I actually did a video like that. And so there, it’s easier to come up with a script on the fly as well. 

You know, also, if you’re traveling, you know, it’s a quick, you’re gonna get on an aeroplane, you’re going to land, it’s a clear middle, you know, beginning middle and an end. It’s much easier to have a script or a storyline there. 

But a lot of the story for most of the videos actually happens during the Edit, where I just have random footage. And you know, I’ll record different things that I’m saying you in the camera. And it’s interesting for for a 10 minute video. 

I usually have like two or three hours of footage. So I leave most of it out, you know, and then over time, you’ll learn the stuff that you kept, how it affected people. And so the comments are very helpful for that, what was the process? Right?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And the editing process like which software did you use? And like, I know you said you did media studies, but like, did you have a bit of background? Was it like all YouTube tutorials? Like, what was that process like for you?

Indian Man in America: Sure. So way back when I first started learning video production and use the Adobe program way back when and did not have a Mac I could not afford one. You know, it was a Windows machine. 

And yeah, video production back then on Windows was even worse than what it might be today, but I don’t know what it is today. I assume it’s gotten better. 

But like I said, a little bit of financial stability has helped me buy a Mac. I use Final Cut on a Mac, which is kind of an old fashioned program now because people are usually Adobe

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Premiere Pro. 

Indian Man in America: Yeah. And everything is on the cloud is so you’re able to The edit more conveniently while you’re traveling, which is, which is that, you know, the Adobe model there, but I use Final Cut Pro.

I had some experience with Final Cut from before. But before, you know, I still watch YouTube videos on how to do some of the things. So during the Edit, I’ll I’ll have clips, and I’ll think of something interesting that I want to do but don’t quite know yet, you know, on how to do it. 

So I’ll go type the closest search term and find a video on YouTube. And there’s a tutorial for everything on there. So someone’s created an effect already that you want to use in your clips. And so you just go watch it, and they’ll tell you, 

Oh, you have to do this, or you can download already. Ready, ready to go. plugin for Final Cut. Final Cut has plugins that you can download and install. So sometimes I have to do that. Some cost money, some are free. So that’s basically the process there.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Another thing you didn’t mention, it takes you like 10 15 hours for the whole like for one video. And that’s because I have so much footage, you know exactly. And I think that’s something so important for everyone to hear. 

Because everyone thinks it’s so easy. Like, you know, when they when they see the video, and it’s only 10 minute video, How long could it take, but like a tick tock a 32nd video can take you an hour or two hours. So 10 minutes, obviously, it makes complete sense what you’re saying in terms of how much time it takes. 

And you also mentioned like, you know, you have what, two or three hours of footage, and then you cut all that out and make that like 10 minutes. And that requires a lot of patience. And like the editing part is where a lot of people say, Fuck it. Like, you know, I don’t want to do this. I don’t have the patience. How did you get over that? Like, you know, oh, this is a lot of work. 

Indian Man in America: Yeah,so it’s also so I’m a software engineer. So it’s also true for software and any creative work you’re doing. I believe it was Steve Jobs who somebody else must have said it. But I heard it from Steve Jobs way back when and I think he said something like perfection is not about what you can put in you know, so if you’re writing software, it’s not about how many features you can add. It’s about what you can take out. 

So it’s not it’s more true for editing than anything else. Because you have three hours of footage. You could go oh, I want to leave this in. Because this was my favorite shot, I spent so long taking this particular shot, I certainly want the world to see this. But it doesn’t go well with the story that you’re trying to tell in a story is everything. 

So so it’s not about what you can leave in. It’s about what you can take out. So. So ultimately, the videos that I’m proud of have actually edited a lot out of kept out most of the stuff I shot and only kept the bits that I like. And if I like it, that’s usually good enough, I hope that the audience loves it. 

But if I’m having a good time, and I’m editing a video that I want to watch it 1015 20 years, because what’s interesting about YouTube is that it’s there forever, unless it’s evergreen. That’s correct. Yeah. So while I’m building a chicken coop, it’s just an experience that I’m having actively the first time. 

But I’m also recording this footage that in 30 years from now, and I’m an old man I can look back at and be like, you know, I did that that was fun. So you can kind of relive that. So So I’m also trying to make content that I’d be excited to watch myself in 20 30 years rather than just just so so I’m not trying to create just to create creating. It’s also somewhat of a journaling thing, you know, you’re documenting your life, what it’s like right now. So

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I can see that I can see like you’re having at least videos that I watched, you could see that you could you’re having fun, like you’re having fun in the process. 

You have your jokes in the middle, like you know, there is that like sense of like gratitude there, there’s humor, and you can tell what the comments who the people are really engaging with that, like, I see oh, you’re a really funny guy in the comments, you know, and you definitely have really high views for someone who’s only been on YouTube for one year.

So some statistics great, because I’m a statistics person, it normally takes a person 22 months to hit 1000 subscribers on YouTube, and you’re at 55,000 subscribers, I would say in a year. So you definitely have really high engagement, what would you say are the 20% of the things that you’ve done that have helped you with that high engagement? 

Indian Man in America: So right off the bat, I want to say that if you’re trying to raise engagement, you have to well, two things you have to be engaging. Yeah, kind of weird to say that but but what I mean by that is to you have to be somewhat real in your videos. 

So people can relate to you. And then the other one is you actually have to participate a lot in the comments. So in my initial I want to say so between when I started in August, all the way till May of this year, I had less than 1000 subs. I don’t know if you know that.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:I didn’t know that. 

Indian Man in America: Yeah, so 1000 Subs between in August of last year when I started all the way till May of this year, so we’re in August now. Yeah, 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: How many videos were those? Like how many videos were up by?

Indian Man in America: I publish once a week. I know us in the beginning of the podcast said 26. Yeah, it’s closer to 55 videos now. Oh, see, but definitely, yeah, yeah, that’s okay. But I publish once a week, and try to respond to all the comments.

In the beginning, I answered every comment, you know, every comment got a like a heart. And a response from me. And of course, there are some hateful comments and stuff, and you can block them, which is great on YouTube. 

But the engaging with your audience quite accurately, they like that. The folks that are on the other side feel like, there’s a human on this side as well. So you know, it’s kind of a two way communication here. So I would say do more of that. If you’re just starting out, like, make sure you’re talking. You know, be authentic, be authenticity is what people relate with, I think.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Oh, 100%. And I can certainly see that in your videos. And thank you for correcting me on the 26 videos. I counted them on YouTube, but maybe I should have pressed like an All button or something. But yeah, thank you for..

Indian Man in America: The channel is interesting because there are things you can do there as well to categorize your videos. So I have playlists on there. And so it’s possible, you may have counted one of the playlists.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Probably, probably, but we’re all we’re all a work in progress. So no, thank you for correcting that. So it’s 55 videos got that I will make sure I put that in my introduction. But that’s that’s the thing. And the thing is what what you said was about the comments. 

And you’re absolutely right, like engaging in comments. Letting people know that you care, because there’s so many people that are entitled, right? Like people better watch my videos, people better comment, no, nobody owes you anything. 

Nobody owes you shit. Like, you know, you’re putting out your work there. If people are viewing I think of that as like, Oh my God, thank you, thank you for viewing my work. Thank you for finding it helpful. And at the same time, I will mention that when you are starting out, you might get no comments. 

You know, a lot of people like so many times I’ve had people focus on like, hate comments like, oh, I don’t want to start something because I’m gonna get so much hate. And I’m like, girl, you might not even get any comments.

Like, you know, just like there’s this thing about, there’s so many times you put something out there and that could be more hurtful, like, there’s crickets. And I think that’s the important thing is to understand that what you said was you have to be engaging in your videos, you have to be editing, you have to be making yourself authentic. 

And I feel like that’s what’s going to generate the comments, and then you can engage with the comments. And that’s kind of how like the cycle continues, I would say.

Indian Man in America:  Yeah, I mean, if you look at just in real life, that, you know, not everybody loves everything you’re doing an even if it’s not video, so there’s always critics and always people that are hating. And it is it is a little bit more out there on on social media, because it’s so easy. 

Anybody can say it’s freedom of speech platform, YouTube is anybody can post a video at the same time anybody can write a comment. And so a lot of the mean comments come through, and it is very discouraging. And actually, from experience, I want to say that over the past few months, it has been a little bit discouraging. 

When you read these comments, you’re like, Wow, I’m putting in all this work 15 hours a week just on editing one video, you know, and a lot of people like Hey, how come you’re not posting more this, they don’t understand the process.

 And or the time that it takes? The fact is most people commenting are not creating. That’s why they don’t understand the process. So so in that way, certainly no, nobody owes me anything. At the same time. It’s also important remember, I don’t owe anybody anything, either.

 And I have to stay true to the creative process. I have to be in it for me as well. In that I’m enjoying it, enjoying the creative process. Like if you if creating something is hard for you. It’s hard for everybody. I mean, if being if wanting to create as hard for you likely, that’s a sign that you probably shouldn’t be creating.

I don’t know I mean, I’m just saying like, some people just have the need to make something you know, I mean, I’ve got one of those when I’m building a chicken coop or a tiny house or a website if I’m you know, I’m a software developer. 

So if I’m building a website, it’s I’m creating constantly and if I wasn’t creating YouTube videos, I would still be building something or making something and so so it comes more easily to just people that are making stuff all the time anyway.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right it’s it’s a muscle you keep practicing, like I keep using and then I completely agree and it is something thing. I mean, right now there’s a creative economy, right? So everyone kind of wants to be a creator. 

And I think it’s very important what you just said, like, if you feel like you’re not having fun in the process, and if you feel like this is not for you, then then it’s not for you. But just like yourself, it’s kind of something how I feel as well. It’s, I like creating, I like my drawing the like, my blog posts, I like my LinkedIn posts, I like I like, I love having this conversation video or meeting more people hearing their stories, it’s, it’s never felt like a chore. You know, it’s never felt like, Oh, my God, I have to do this. It’s more like I can’t, I can’t wait to have this conversation. So..

Indian Man in America: In your podcasts, you know, they’re good. And the reason I find them interesting and good and authentic is because you’re coming from a place where you would do it, even if there was no reward 100% Yeah, you know, for me, it’s the similar. 

I would still make these YouTube videos, for, if no one was watching, it was kind of a very, it’s a mixed bag, really, to have 50,000. To go from 1000 to 50,000, and only two or three months. It’s a mixed bag, because that means there’s that many more people watching it feel this obligation is more pressure. 

But if I had just my parents watching, still, I would be I would be fine with that, I’d be happy with that I would still create these videos, I think you have to find your reason to create is it just for the fame and the money and whatever? Right for the blame. Cool? Yeah, because it’s cool. And everybody’s doing it or is it’s because this is something that you enjoy doing it.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I completely agree. And I think it’s I’ve mentioned this a couple of times is a big Brene Brown fan. And she’s said in one of her videos, nobody got saved, nobody who’s famous today got famous because they wanted to be famous, you know, it’s they had a purpose, they were working towards something they were passionate about. 

And then fame just came as a byproduct of that you can start something because you want money or you want attention, you’re always going to make decisions that are going to be short term versus long term, so that I’m completely on the same page. But then you did mention that even if today you didn’t have 50,000 subscribers, and it was only your parents watching, you’d be happy. 

And video, exactly, you’d be happy and you still be making the videos on a weekly basis. And that actually is a great segue to my next question is, but that’s not the case. You do have 50,000 subscribers now. 

So what does that mean for Indian men in America? Now? What does that mean for your YouTube channel? What benefits has that provided you? What opportunities has that opened up for you? If you could talk about that.

Indian Man in America: So the benefits are interesting. So you know, some of the brands have started approaching me like I raised chickens in my backyard. And a chicken feed company actually Canadian. Pluck you here. 

But a Canadian chicken Larva is not chicken fly larva company that raises them for the chickens approached me and they’re like, Hey, can you talk about our product. So I might do that I might make a video and they’re sending me free products, free products test. 

And there’s a company in India that sent me a bunch of goodies, that Indian Indian foods, and they have a website where they sell all this stuff. So it’s there’s a clear path. And it’s not new, you know, of course, there’s revenue from advertising. 

I want to be careful here because I don’t want to give people an unrealistic idea. This is I’m not doing YouTube for the money or the free products. I’m doing YouTube, even if my parents would watch it every week, you know, I call my mom and she’s like, how come? You haven’t published the video this week?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I got my mom’s the same way. She’s like, my podcast is not up at 8am and 4pm. He’s like, where’s your podcast today? You know, at least one person is listening to it.

Indian Man in America: What are your biggest supporters at a minimum? Right. And so, hopefully, if you’re lucky to have parents that are supporting you, I think you should create if you enjoy the creative process. 

So So while I’m not doing this, for all, all those things, also, YouTube’s not gonna make, well, maybe it’s gonna make me rich, but that’s not the point. The point is that there is certainly revenue from advertising. 

It’s not as much it’s very small, even with 50,000 subs. And I haven’t been monetized for over a year. So I don’t know, I can’t give you any numbers for a full year or anything. But you know, it’s, it’s enough to pay for gas to go amongst gas is what I’m making on YouTube. It’s sir. 

So it’s certainly not attractive. I wouldn’t switch I would keep my day job. Right, right. If I was just starting out, but it’s interesting that brands are finding value, even in my content, because I’m just trying to be authentic and just be mean. 

And at the same time some brands going oh, you know that what they’re what this guy stands for is interesting because it’s a shared value with our brand. So So then they want to send me products and I can test them. And so, so far, it’s just this much opportunity. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: It’s a labor of love, right? Even a year in 50,000 subscribers, and I think it’s important for people to hear this because so many people think once you’ve hit like 10,000 subscriber 50,000 subscribers, alright, well, this person must be minting money. 

And you kind of just have to be reminded that there are people who might be doing that. And they might have different revenue channels and everything. But if you’re not doing it for the right reasons, if you’re not doing it, because you’re enjoying the process, if you’re not doing it, because you truly want to impact people and give them value, the money is not going to keep you in the game. 

Maybe for some people who might be overnight successes, and those are like very, very rare examples. But most of the creators, friends that I have, they work really, really hard. Even the ones that have gotten really successful and are have kind of quit their full time job.

Even then they’re like, we’ve worked really hard to even get to this point, it’s not been a switch. So those are some really, really good points you mentioned. And we talked a bit about, like, you know, you being very invested in the process, and you know, you making like long form videos, and and you just, I just want to hear a bit more about what fears it the Indian man go through when they were starting this YouTube channel.

I know you were making it for your friends and family. But were there certain, like things that you were worried that were gonna happen? And what was that?

Indian Man in America: Of course, you know, anytime you’re putting yourself out there, Brene Brown would say this, right? Renee is awesome. She’s written a few books about vulnerability. 

Anytime you’re being vulnerable, and sharing, you’re trying to share your authentic experience in life, and putting it on video to stay there forever and ever. 

You know, anything you put on the internet doesn’t go away, I’m gonna suffer guy notice. Even if you delete it, someone’s downloaded it already. Someone’s copied it, someone’s taking a screenshot. So they’re those obvious fears. That, okay, the views I hold, and I share in my videos are true for me today. 

But how does that affect my life in 10,15, 20 years? When I’m maybe different, I may be a completely different person by that I may have the opposite views. You know, and we’re seeing this come true in our politics as well. 

It’s more, it’s more prominent on social media today, the canceled culture, right? It’s like you say one negative thing about something and you get all this hate these people that support you and love you, at the moment in the comment section, they’re like, really were your cheerleaders go forth, and make us proud. 

They could turn on you and like a second because you said something negative about certain value that holds true, or that they’re really excited about. So you know, the biggest fear is that those were the fears in the beginning. It’s like, but But you know, I’m in my early 30s.

And now just starting this, you know, a year ago, I think I’ve lived enough life thus far that I know that you can’t please everyone. You know, I’ve started a couple businesses in the past. And so I know this from experience, is that you’re not going to please everybody, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. 

So those are, I think, the initial fears that people are afraid of making those mistakes. People that want to be if you create a video oh, and the fear of failure, right? It’s like, Oh, what about I started this YouTube channel?

What about if I have, if I have no followers in a year? You know, what are my friends gonna be like? I wasted all this time creating something and sharing this video with that. These people gonna be like, Oh, I’m on She’s up to something. Again. Anything except having a career?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: When they’re when they’re Yes.

Indian Man in America: It’s hard. Especially when you when you you are. And I think it’s safe to say this, but especially if you’re an Indian person, because or people are very driven and motivated. Oh, you went to America? You must already be a millionaire now. Right?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You, you’re earning in dollars. Like I get that a lot? It’s like alright.

Indian Man in America: Yeah, at least you’re earning in dollars. Yeah, yeah, you’re spending in dollars. But anyway, the point is that the expectation is much higher. And so at this, at that, when you consider the expectation, then you’re also afraid to take the big bold steps. It is big and bold to go out and create. 

You know, I think it’s important to say this because even though the process is easy and more accessible today, it is bold to still put yourself out there and create something for everyone to see forever and ever on the internet. 

And you don’t know who these people are and how they see it and how they’ll turn it like then you can take a clip off the internet and you know, add it to a different video and now you’re saying a completely different thing. 

So certainly those are the fears I would say. At least the ones I think Uh, I mean, these are common fears. And I’m probably taking a lot of things for granted here.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I know for sure these are very common fears. And I think that’s, that’s why I’m asking because a lot of people think when people start making videos, people who do put themselves out there, they don’t have any fears, they don’t have any struggles.

It’s honestly even, I mean, this is probably my, I’ve had more than 50 conversations so far. And even then, like, there’s nerves before every conversation, there’s like butterflies. And I think that’s, that’s just going to happen. And that’s just part of the process.

Indian Man in America: Okay, I’m definitely nervous. You’re right, if you could tell, too, so.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I wasn’t able to tell. So if you’re totally doing a great job, and the other thing that I do want to ask is, what are some of those fears that have continued? or have there been new fears now that you’re one year in and fit with 55,000 subscribers? Like, what is? What is your look like now? For you?

Indian Man in America: So yeah, that’s a good question. Currently, at least. Well, there’s one less fear, right? There’s been validation now. Right? There’s been enough people subscribing and writing comments in my videos, brands sending me their products, because they see some value here. I’ve proven the concept/ 

I think. And for any entrepreneur, I consider myself at least somewhat of an entrepreneur. And you are, yeah, because anytime you build entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship is about starting anything that most people are not starting, whether it’s building a house, or raising chickens in the yard, most people are not doing that.

I would say that that’s entrepreneurship there as well. every YouTuber that goes out there and makes a video, even with no reward in sight, is an entrepreneur. So from an entrepreneurs perspective, you know, proof of concept is very important. Once you once you go, 

Oh, you know, I’m not wasting my time, look at all these look at all the difference I’m making in some of these people’s lives, because they’re telling me that, you know, one of the one of the comments was, you know, this person’s probably not, it’s probably a cheap shot here. 

But one of the person that commented said that they were experiencing a terminal illness, and it gave them great joy, to just sort of watch my videos, I would not see that, you know, I would not have seen that if I didn’t make these videos out there. And put them out there. 

So so there’s validation, there’s, and certainly a huge weight off my shoulders a little bit. You know, there’s some sense of relief here, that there has been validation, but at the same time, of course, now, the big fear is, can I keep producing every week and keep up with those expectations? Because now, okay, now that there’s all these people listening.

I, I better have something to say, you know, and I certainly have a lot to say, I have lots of different experiences in life, and I can keep the content for me has been writing itself thus far, because I’m always doing something interesting. That’s interesting to me and hope. 

And then through my videos, I’m just creating them, so that people may find something that they can relate to. So I think if I was just if I had no life experience, if I had nothing else going on in my life, now, I was just like, looking for new topics to make videos about. 

That’s, that’s a much it’s doable, but it’s a much harder process. And it is short, it is for the short run long term, if you know, it’s much harder. So I would say that for any new creator, you know, do a do lots of different things in your life, and document those have different experiences, but don’t have them just so you can put up on YouTube. Yeah.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Oh, for sure. And I think there’s also this thing called curse of knowledge, right? We we know so much, but we think everyone knows what we know. And it’s like, oh, yeah, obviously, everyone knows that. 

Well, no, that’s not true. Like, you know, even some things as simple as morning routines, which I take for granted. I’m like, everyone should know what a morning routine is. But the amount of times I’ve said, oh, yeah, I was doing a morning routine, people have asked. 

Well, what do you mean by that? You know, and then all this obviously explain. So it’s just something I keep reminding myself of, something that’s very obvious to me, which is why I sometimes dig deeper with my guests that he committed, it’s very obvious to you, it’s not very obvious to everyone else.

 And it’s a curse of knowledge. And I think that’s as creators, even if I feel like someone with a very blah, Doc life as they think that they have a ball life. I feel like they don’t, they might think that yeah, exactly. They might be doing some things or even that like consistency. 

People might be like, How are you so consistent? How do you wake up at the same time every day? So I’m like, someone might be interested in that. So there’s always something or the other say there’s always a story. 

There’s always people need to hear different people, different voices, you don’t know who needs to hear yours. So I’m definitely there with you. And so far, I think we’ve heard about your journey on YouTube. We’ve heard about the 55,000 subscribers and the impact and you’re right, that comment that you got. 

And those that one or two comments that like really, really hit home, I think they make it all worthwhile. And I’m so happy that you went through that experience. And it’s yeah, definitely I had the fields when I got like when I heard you say that too, so that that’s incredible. 

And then we talked about the benefits and now as their brands coming up, but also the realistic expectations. So it’s, it’s honestly been really, really fun having this conversation. And now I’ll be going off to our final question. Before I do that, though, where can our listeners connect with you online?

Indian Man in America: Okay, so your listeners should always listen to Spicy Chai, I think it’s a great podcast. And at the same time, if they if they’re interested in Indian immigrants journey in America. 

They can go to my YouTube channel is literally called Indian Man in America Indian spelled the usual way. It’s I N D I A N Man in America. And indianmaninamerica.com is a website, which right now is only a redirect to my YouTube channel.

Eventually, I will probably develop a website that will have something interesting there as well. But yeah, just go to indianmaninamerica.com or search for Indian man on YouTube. And you’ll find me.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Perfect. Awesome. So definitely go check it out. A as I said, I’ve seen some of his videos, they’re really fun engaging, they’re positive, optimistic. 

So even if you’re not an immigrant, and you’re just looking for something fun and light, it’s definitely a video that you’d like to watch.

And honestly, I had never seen that side of Seattle. So it’s definitely very educational. Even for someone who’s not interested in life in America, it was just like, oh, this is cool. Yeah.

Indian Man in America: Washington State has such beauty here and natural, you know, the Pacific Northwest altogether is just gorgeous. So I have some drone shots for people that don’t necessarily understand Hindi. 

But if people are interested in learning Hindi, I have subtitles in English there so they can watch it. That was the other as when I had this one, one bit. You know, I have interest in agriculture, raising chickens and building tiny homes. I’m a software engineer. 

So it is, you know, I’m not in any one particular box. But I was noticing that on YouTube, there aren’t as many people that look like me that were creating content in each of these buckets, you know what I mean? 

So that was that was also another primary reason for putting my content out there. So there can be other Indian voices that are other Indian people that can see my content and be inspired a little bit to share their stories and or try different things and not just be, you know, going falling on the same path of Oh, yeah, I’ll move to America and be a software guy. Maybe raise chickens while you’re here?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s a really, really good point. It’s just kind of really trying to see what angle you can take with your life? And what are some things that you can do? 

There might be a lot of people doing what you’re doing. But do they look like you? You know, so definitely a really, really good point that you raised. And to our final question, so what is one thing you wish you had known when you started?

Indian Man in America: That’s a good question. I wish that I kind of knew how hard it would be to or how long how time consuming it would be to edit these videos. But I wish I had known exactly how long it would take to push out each video 10-15 hours for a 10 minute video.

It’s it’s a long time out of my week, every week, technically, but I’m only putting out one videos right now not doing it more than one. But if I had known that, maybe I would plan things a little bit differently. 

Just just the amount of time it takes to create, you know, telling the story. It’s hard. It’s hard work. And I think what I would what I would do differently. I don’t know. I mean, you still have to put in the work if you’re interested in creating and sharing a story. So yeah, that would be the one thing that I wish I had known.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: How much time it takes. I actually echo that the editing process is so frustrating. So I certainly echo that sentiment and feeling. 

Indian Man in America:  It’s exciting to create.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Oh, yeah.

Indian Man in America:  It’s also there’s like, oh, geez, now I get to spend that whole day. In a week when I could be doing anything else. I have to do this. Because people waiting on the other side.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  I don’t know. I don’t know if this has happened to you. But sometimes I do create them. There’s a glitch and I lose something that I’ve spent like five hours on or something like that. 

And then I’m just like, Oh, no. Yeah, I feel like it’s the editing and then the glitches and technology issues that happened or like you have something in mind and then you can’t translate it exactly the way you want it and you’re like, hey, go back to perfectionism piece but no, totally, totally echo the sentiment, but no, I totally get that. So thank you 

Thank you so much for being so honest today. You’re letting us know about your journey, telling us why you’re doing it. And to really reinforce the concept of do this for the right reasons. Don’t do it for the money, don’t do it for the fame.

Indian Man in America:  It’s it. But it’s not there as much as people say it, it’s, it can be there. But in the beginning, you won’t find it there. Right? So you have to put in the work and create the videos for you, or for a different reason than the fame and the money. Because in the beginning, it’s not there. It might be a while. A long time, so..

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Yes, and I had a lot of fun. And for everyone listening, do check out Indian men in America, as I said, even if you’re not interested in being looking at Seattle, or seeing chickens or anything like that, they’re very, very positive, light hearted, funny videos and that you even if you don’t understand Hindi, if you do, that’s great.

But if not, they have subtitles. So definitely check it out. And if today, Himanchu has said something that has inspired you, or that you feel will help your friends out, please share the episode with them.

 And until next time, you got this beautiful.