How iJustine Built Her Digital Empire with iJustine
Hey, everybody, how's it going? I'm Chase Jarvis. Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live Show here on CreativeLive. This is where I sit down with the world's top creatives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and do my damnedest to unpack actionable and valuable insights with the goal of helping you live your dreams in career, in hobby, and in life. My guest today is the iJustine.
Hello! (upbeat rock music) (audience applauds) They love you. Thank you so much for coming.
Thanks for having me. This is great.
I looked at an email, I was searching your email to correspond with you about the show, and I think we corresponded in 2007.
Was that the last time? (both laugh)
I think it was.
Oh, my God.
But that's when we met, I think 2007.
Do you remember the thing, the Nikon thing?
Yes, of course. Yeah, of course. It was crazy.
We got to give away other people's money.
Yeah, and then we went to Sundance. That was the first time I'd ever been to...
Sundance, so it was kind of a cool experience.
I've been to like three or four since, but not recently. Have you been recently?
No, I don't really like the cold, so if I don't have to go anywhere near snow, I'm gonna just voluntarily opt out.
Speaking of cold, I should give a shout-out to 72andsunny. These folks here in L.A. are one of my favorite ad agencies in the world. They are letting us use this room, which is Howard Hughes's original office.
It's pretty crazy.
It's pretty crazy.
And it's like 100 degrees in here, is it not?
It is really warm, yeah.
Are you comfortable, though?
I mean, we don't have a choice. This is what we're doing. But yes, I actually would prefer to be super-warm. So yeah, as long as it's not freezing.
What I remember about, so, 2007. It doesn't feel like that's 10 years.
Oh, gosh, well, you don't have to...
I know, we don't have to go there.
Put a number on it.
And we got to give away 100,000 or I think $150,000, remember that, to some aspiring filmmakers?
Yeah, it was really cool. I remember that was the first time, 'cause I had always been using, I forget which camera I was using. I think it was a 60D, and it didn't have autofocus, and then the Nikon had autofocus and DSLR video or something. I'm not sure. I think I might be mixing up some things in the timeline of cameras.
But it was like, or wait, it was the first DLSR to have video? Is that correct?
Okay, so then the 60D was after that.
That was the D90.
That's right. Okay. There are so many things.
So many firsties. And I remember getting to give, and they did a little film contest, and we got to give away a hundred, a hundred grand to the first prize winner. I think we called them.
I don't remember.
Okay, I'm gonna do the memory part for us both now. We got to call them, and they recorded us calling them and giving them the hundred, one person $100, and another person 50,000. I think it might have been pre-arranged, like, hey, we're gonna call you at two o'clock.
I think so, yeah.
So it didn't go to voicemail, like I don't know who this person is. And I remember the $50,000 guy wept.
Oh, I mean, yeah.
For 50 grand, right?
Wouldn't you? That's crazy. Especially for like, doing such a cool contest and being a part of it, and of course, they got our phone call.
Well, a lot has happened for you in 10 years.
Yeah, I mean, I can't even really just... (Chase laughs)
I know you don't want me to keep saying 10 years.
No, it's okay. But you think about it, and I went back and I did like the 10 year of iPhone video, and I have been making videos about the iPhone for so long that even like, last night, I haven't posted it yet, or depending upon when this is out, it will probably be out, but I unboxed the iPhone 3GS, and then fairly recently also unboxed like the original iPod, and it was just kind of crazy and so nostalgic to be unboxing this old technology. It took me back to a place in my life of how I felt when I was opening it. Like, the first iPod, I was in high school and didn't know what I wanted to do. I still am not really sure what you want to do. Does anybody ever know? I don't think they do. But just opening that, you know, it took me back to high school, and, you know, the things that me and that iPod have been through.
Me and that iPod. It's like, hi, buddy.
It's so silly, but, you know, you're always listening to music, and I think music kind of puts you in a better place. So for me, that iPod, it really did start it all.
I also did an iPod thing back in, right when it first came out, 2000, it was early, like, four, three, four, five?
The one that had the buttons and the spin wheel.
I should have bought it. Oh, I'm sorry.
Relic technology. But whenever it came out, I also was in a commercial that was promoting it, and I think it was more of an industry thing. It was like a 60-second documentary. It had some people from Apple, and the tagline, a thousand songs in your pocket.
In your pocket, yes.
Brilliant tagline, but also, it's like, right now, you're going, only a thousand? Like, I have the entire internet in my pocket now. What would I do with only a thousand? But it's such a paradigm change.
It really was, and I think it might have been like, October-ish 2001, 2002, around the timeframe.
Even longer. Yeah.
I said 2003. That's a long time ago.
Yeah, but I mean, there are still iPods out. But yeah, that was like 2001.
So, you recently did a 10-year retrospective for the iPhone?
Yeah, it was pretty cool, and it kind of just was like, I was going back and watching these videos, and it's like you saw yourself change. You saw the technology change. And it really made me excited for the future of what's next.
All right, so, I think there are very few people in the world who don't know and what you do, but for the handful of folks in the audience, how do you describe yourself?
Man. That's like, the hardest question I think you're gonna ask today.
It is. I know, and that's, it is one of the reasons I'm asking it is because it I think defines a generation or our peer group. I never know how to say it, so I'm A, trying to learn something, hijack some of your points, but B, folks who are listening, who are of the same ilk that we are, they don't have a way to identify it, and I'm hoping that we can land on something.
I mean, I would say a content creator is sort of a safe thing to say. I mean, people like to call us YouTubers. I make videos on YouTube. But I also post content everywhere, so I feel like calling people content creators is a safe bet, 'cause that's exactly what I'm doing. And some people call us YouTubers, which I think easy to understand for a lot of people, because they all understand YouTube. Did you see they just announced that people are watching like a billion.
A billion hours a day.
A billion. It was a hundred million four years ago. So it 10x'ed in four years. That's bonkers.
Yes. I mean, I've been doing that, I've been on YouTube since like making videos, and still, to this day, I'm still doing it, and I still actually really enjoy it, and I'm not good at sticking to doing things at all. So the fact that I still love doing this after so long, I know that I've found something that I'm super passionate about, and I love it. I love technology, I love video games, and I love travel. So being able to make that a career, you know, I'm so lucky, and I'm seeing so many of my friends do it, and I'm meeting all of my friends from YouTube. I mean, I think I met some of my best friends from Myspace, like, back in the day, and it's crazy to really think that that's where friendships start, and that's what today is.
Yeah. So, but in addition to being a content creator, I just did air quotes for you people who are listening, that's a terrible thing, but, you're also on television. You've also got a book. You also, there's like five other things.
I mean, yeah, there is a lot.
I mean, didn't you do, aren't you doing music, also?
Oh, well, that's for my dog. It sounds crazy, but I love music too.
Okay, give me like a, what are those? So there's TV things, and then there's music things. I'm trying to make a point underneath all of this, too. So what else you got? Let's talk about TV.
TV, I mean, that's been super fun. And one of the craziest things is one of my favorite shows was Law and Order: SVU back in the day.
You were a corpse.
Yes. And it was like, I just was watching like, show, after show, and then finally, I saw at the end of one of the episodes, the casting director. I was like, well, I wonder if he's on Twitter? Maybe I'll tweet him and see if he can make me a dead body. And this was like, 2009. Crazy. And then he tweets me back and sends me an email and then we corresponded. I flew to New York, and I was a dead body.
What does the credit read?
Justine Ezarik, and then I did have a name, which was good. I had a few speaking lines. It was great.
It's not just corpse, corpse number one.
No. But, you know, I've done a bunch of stuff like that, and then I was on an episode of Chopped Junior, which was super fun, fairly recently as a judge, and let's see, Celebrity Apprentice as their viral video correspondent boardroom judge. I'm not sure what their technical term was.
It was super cool. It was awesome.
That's not out yet. That hasn't dropped yet.
No, it did.
Yeah, it was already out.
Oh, I missed it. I'm sorry.
It's okay. You can catch the reruns. But it was really fun to sort of be in there and, you know, having that voice of someone who has been doing this for so long, and to be able to try to help these traditional celebrities create a viral video, which I hate that word. Hate, hate, hate.
Can we rip on that for a second?
Is there a, like, the concept of creating a video to be viral, like, don't you just make a great video, and then someone else decides if it's viral?
Like, if there's this recipe that you could, I don't know. I'll stop ripping on that for a second. Back to TV and you. So, you got to be on Celebrity Apprentice, Law and Order. You got a TV thing. You got a music thing with your dog.
Yeah, okay, so it sounds kind of silly, but like I love sort of like, dance music. So I wanted to kind of make my dog a DJ and go on tour with him and come out with an album, and mostly because I adopted him, and there's so many animals that need homes and rescued and there's so many different shelters that need money, so I was like, this'll be great. I'll go on tour with my dog, a portion of the proceeds can go to different animal charities, and then on each tour stop, it can be so fun, because we could have other dogs come out. Then you have adopting, and it would just be, I just wanna make an excuse to hang out with my dog and other dogs and animals.
Animals are awesome.
I was like, this will be great. I know, they're so cute.
So, is this happening?
Oh my God.
We still have a little while, 'cause I'm kind of slow. That's sort of like, you know, in the mix of doing everything else.
So, will Matty, what's your dog's name?
Will Matty make celebrity appearances with other, and will this elevate Matty to full celebrity?
I hope so.
Like, does Matty have his own handles and stuff?
His manager is also my manager, so, you know, sometimes, he's like, I can't believe I'm doing a deal for a dog right now. But yes, he is, he is on everywhere as DJ Mini Matt. I mean, it sounds good, right?
So, will DJ Mini Matt, will DJ Mini Matt like party with Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub, or other dogs?
Probably dogs. I mean, I think he likes cats, but like, cats, the like to punch. They punch in the nose.
So, that's a music thing.
So, music, TV, and then the book was actually really fun, 'cause it kind of told the story of my growing up on the internet and also kind of following Twitter from the very beginning, and Instagram, and kind of just an exploration of me sort of discovering who I was, and it was a super-fun book, and on the cover, it was kind of an ode to Steve Jobs, clearly, if you wanna put it right here.
It's right there.
We'll just drop it right in there.
Magical. But yeah, writing a book was interesting, because, you know, I was so used to writing tweets, and even I started a blog in like high school, but I was never like, a traditional writer, so my writing style was like, I'm gonna write a few sentences, and then I'm gonna move onto the next thought. So, like the editor, she was like, so...
So about this writing stuff.
Yeah, so like, you wanna take like five tweets, put 'em together into a paragraph. So then you're gonna be good. I was like, perfect. So, yeah, thankfully, I had so much help, an incredible other writer that helped me sort of get my thoughts out, and it was a really incredible collaborative process. So, I loved it.
So daily videos, almost daily?
Almost daily. I don't tell people I do 'em daily, but I almost always do 'em daily.
So, that's like six things, right? Five or six things.
Yeah, I didn't go to bed until like three o'clock 'cause I was trying to finish my video for today, and it didn't happen. So, sorry to anybody.
This is her three a.m. bed face.
Oh, man. And I fell asleep with my Nintendo Switch, 'cause I was like, maybe I can play 15 minutes of Zelda before, and I just, I passed out with it.
All right, so the under, the point that I'm trying to make behind al this is that clearly, we're all a bunch of hyphens. You have a, do you think of a career as based in any one media or medium?
And so, also for the folks at home, I think that's a paradigm that people have to get used to. I feel like I'm talking like it's 2005, even though it's 2000, what is it?
I know. Every time I say a date, you're like, no.
I know, 'cause it's just crazy.
It is crazy. But, the fact that these things are, they're becoming more abundant and more numerous and I'll say also more opportunistic, you as author, as TV star, as vlogger, video-maker, content creator, each one of those things is something that is or will have continued days in the sun. So now you have this robust career. How do you decide what to put your energy into? 'Cause there's folks at home that are going like, oh my God, if I could do any of those things, what should I do, since all of them are viable? So, this is advice, iJustine's advice to the people who want to, this is for two groups of people. Let's give two separate pieces of advice. One advice for the people who are already doing something. They identify as creative or entrepreneurial. What advice do you give them about the future, and then thing two is for the people who are sitting at home going, I kinda wanna leave my job. I'm burned out. I wanna go transport myself or even a side hustle. Two separate, this is therapy with Justine.
I mean, I would just say the bottom line is like, what do you wanna do? Like, what makes you happy? Because for me, I do so many things because I do get bored easily. So it's like, how do I make the things that I really, really like a part of what I'm already doing? Hey, guess what? I have a dog. I love my dog. I love dance music. How do I make this something creative and fun that is fun for everybody? So, I mean, I just get random ideas and things that I wanna do, and then sometimes I also, like for me, I don't necessarily set goals, because I'll be like, cool, that would be awesome if I could do this. But then something else cooler comes up, and I don't want to be deterred from, ooh, I can't do that, because I already have this set goal in mind. I mean, I have taken so many twists and turns over the past however long that I've been doing this that if I would have stayed in my regular job, I was a graphic designer and I was in video production and editing, but I was a really fast editor, so my boss would be like, okay, is that video done yet? I'm like, yeah, it's been done for like two days, and that two days that I've been doing nothing, I've been creating my own content, and stuff like that. So I did have the luxury of that. But it's like, what do you wanna do, and it's easy to say, now that I'm at that point where it's something that I can say, but I mean, I was basically, I moved to L.A. and I was essentially homeless. Like, I had absolutely nothing. I moved with a lighting kit and a laptop and this awful pink suitcase that I will never forget with like a pillow and a bunch of sweatpants. And like I slept on the floor for the first two years that I was here, and then yeah, I was dating this guy, and for a long time, he was like, okay, like I'm not gonna come to your house. I can't sleep on the floor. You have a blanket and a pillow. This is pathetic. I'm like, sorry! I just bought a new camera and a new laptop, and those were the things that were a priority. And I was like, oh, I'm sleeping in the floor.
I wanna unpack I think, at least, if I can remember, three things that you just said. So one of the things is that you literally made up your job. Or like, went fast at your job, we already talked about. So I like my dog Matty. I like music. I like dancing, and I wanna put all those things together. And I think if you're sitting at home, you're like, wait a minute, that's totally ridiculous. And yet, to me, that's actually the secret. That is the formula. And can you justify that? Can you tell me if I'm right? Like, it's literally that is the thing, because that's putting you in there? Because how many, I mean, maybe you're just stealing this idea and there's a bunch of people who have dogs that they wanna turn into DJs on the internet. I don't think that's the case.
I haven't. I have seen a DJ pig. (Chase laughs) It's DJ Base Pig, which I think I was like talking about it at Comic-Con or something and somebody stood up, and there were like, there's a DJ pig! She just started her channel! It's like this huge pig. It's incredible. But they just call it that, but I don't think it actually is a DJ, whereas like I have a little mixer, and like my dog will, like he actually, I mean, he can't do it to the rhythm. It's basically if I move my hand, he does exactly what I do. But yeah, I mean, it really is. I mean, even the job that I'm doing now, 2006, nobody was doing this. I got made fun of. In high school, I was like coding my own, I guess, essentially a blog. It was a daily random photo site, so I would have to create the main homepage, and then manually change the forward and the back links and everything and all of the achieved pages, 'cause there wasn't something to do that back then. So, I mean, it really is, like, you do create your own destiny, which sounds so cheesy. But it is, and it is.
That's the point that I'm trying to make. And it's that if I think there's people at home sitting there listening, yeah, but it's easy if you already have x million followers to start some random thing.
Yeah, but I started at nothing, absolutely nothing. And again, one of the things for me is I always loved finding new tech and finding new websites. I was like, probably the 103rd person to join Instagram, super early on Twitter, all of these things, because I was always looking for the next cool thing and not just staying focused on one thing. You have to diversify. I mean, I was posting videos everywhere, Yahoo, Dailymotion, Rever. Half of these things don't even exist anymore.
Rever was the first website to pay you, and I think they still owed me $20 when they shut down.
They're no longer with us. But even then, your wasn't paying people, so I was making a few dollars off of Rever, and, you know, I would still, one of the things that was really difficult starting out is I sort of had this, not really a brand in mind, but I wanted to have clean content that was kind of accessible for everyone. And a lot of brands would come to me and be like, hey, we've got this like alcohol or something else that I would never even wanna say on camera sponsorship. Would you do it? I'm like, I'm poor. I have no money. I can't even feed myself. But I can't take this. You know, and I feel like that has been able to let me sort of keep this longevity, is knowing what I like and keeping that in mind.
There's a sort of a truth to that. Okay, I'm gonna put a pin in that, 'cause that's really valuable. Ping. Let's go back. So, the fact that you can today like, literally make up what you want, and I think one of the things I wanna try and drill into a little bit is, it sounds random, but what I think, if I can translate what you're saying to like people who don't have that head space is you're finding something that you're truly passionate about, that you care about your dog, you care about dancing, you care about music, and you care about the internet, and it sounds, you said I think the word cheesy, but that you can literally, if you start making videos, what that's actually doing is putting you into your work, and like, that's how you develop personal style. And I think there's this fear of, if it's not out there yet, that means it can't be successful. But I actually think the opposite is true. If it's not out there, then the world is waiting to see a little piece of you in particular or some new thing. What's your stance on that?
Yeah, for sure. No, and I think, you know, failure is, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, yeah, it really sucks. I mean, even now, I mean, there's some times I'll post a video that I'm super proud of, and whatever, maybe YouTube might be down that day, the algorithm wasn't in my favor, and it does terribly. And for a lot of YouTubers, they're like, that's it. It's all over. My career is dead. I'm like, well, guess what, there's tomorrow. So hopefully tomorrow will be better. So, and I think that's something that's also hard, is 'cause people do focus on the numbers, and, you know, I'm just happy that I can consistently be uploading, and hey, maybe today there's 20,000 people, and then tomorrow, oh my gosh, this was a great video, something happened, it has a million views. So, there is the ups and the downs, and you just kind of have to not quit. I mean, that has been my strategy and my tip to people. I'm like, well, if you don't quit, like, eventually, you're gonna make it. So you just gotta keep going.
Yeah, it's hard to lose, or it's hard to beat someone who never quits.
It seems like that's another like, stamina is wildly underrated. So I'm gonna go back, wrap that one up. So, it's the thing that you are that is the thing that you should be making, whether it's, you know, in any of the spaces that we've been talking about. That's the thing that I think people miss. They're too busy looking at what everybody else is doing instead of what their own things are. And then the second one, the fact that stamina is so undervalued. I know I feel like I personally know so many people or my feed is full of people asking advice, which I'm sure you get, around, oh, I did five of these things. Will you go look at my portfolio? And I try not to look at people's portfolios, 'cause that would be a full-time job. But they, I see people like, quitting when they're just getting started. So any advice to those folks bout like, how long? You know, you've heard 10,000 hours. You've been at this, you've already said, 10 years, like 50 times in this video.
Yeah, it's crazy.
But like, I don't know. Put a horizon on this for some people. Like, how long, how hard, should they go at their dreams?
I mean, if it's something that you really wanna do, I mean, really, don't stop. And thankfully, you know, I've always been sort of working sort of in that space and doing things. So while I wanted to make YouTube videos, I was doing freelance graphic design on the side and doing video production, the stuff that I didn't necessarily want to do, but you had to do it. Or, I know a lot of my friends too that have started making YouTube videos. They work at Starbucks part-time 'cause they have great benefits and all this and that. So they can still do YouTube videos. So you have to make those sacrifices until you're able to fully fund your passion project that has turned into something. And I definitely did probably quit my job a little bit too soon, but sometimes you do have to do that so that you can focus on it. And back then, no one knew this landscape, and no one knew what it was doing. So the fact that I kept doing it, a lot of people were confused and concerned, and I mean, I think it all eventually worked out. But there were the ups and downs, again.
Let's talk about that culturally. So, naysayers, haters, parents, people of influence in your life who were telling you that it was hard or impossible or asking questions, what is it that you're doing, you're making YouTube videos? And obviously the tables have turned, but that cultural pressure is another thing that a lot of people who are on the other ends of this microphone and camera are thinking and feeling. So what were some of those things that you personally went through? So that folks don't feel alone.
My parents were definitely skeptical, but they were always very supportive of the things that I was doing, which was always strange. I mean, I was making home movies of like my sister's guinea pig and like dressing him up and building him houses. So, for them, this was sort of just an extension of what I have been doing my entire life, and they knew that I lived electronics and video games. Like, my mom, like, so sweet. I went back when I was like writing my book. I asked her, like, why did you buy me a Nintendo back in the day? That wasn't a normal things for most girls to get as a gift. And she was like, well, that's the only thing you wanted, and you wouldn't stop asking for it. So that was like, your one gift for your birthday and Christmas. So I think thankfully, they've been super supportive, but, you know, I think going through high school, I was the only girl in my computer programming classes. I know there was like one other girl that was thankfully also a part of kind of the, our little computer club. Like, we'd have LAN parties. Like, we would all bring a computer to like one person's house, and we should just connect all our computers.
If you didn't hear that, that's LAN like Local Area network.
L-A-N, yes. (both laugh) Like, I didn't go to prom. We had a LAN-tie prom. And it was incredible, 'cause like those things and those people that I were able to connect with I think shaped sort of who I was also, so it's find people that are doing what you're doing, surround yourself with those people, and yeah, it's difficult. I mean, yeah, high school and middle school, yeah, definitely got made fun of. I mean, here's the girl doing a sixth grade book report on Steve Jobs and like going into the computer lab that's like, off into the corner that no one ever goes to, 'cause that's where all the Macs were, and I was like, so, these are where the Mac computers are, and I don't know. I feel like I've always known what I was into and passionate about, and I feel like everybody sort of has that. Like, think about what you love and what you wanna do, and tomorrow, if you were to wake up and be able to do that, just think about like, those small stepping stones to get there.
And the absurdity of whatever it is that you think that no one else is into.
They're gonna be.
Yeah, that's another part of this sort of economy and the fact that you can touch so many other people at scale with the tools that are free right now. Another thing that people discount. They're like, oh, well, I'm into...
Knitting. Yeah, knitting portraits of rock stars.
That's, I'm sure that's a thing.
That would be huge. I'm sure there's a community of people who knit portraits. Now I wanna see a knitted portrait of Prince.
For sure. That's what so cool, especially even if it's something that there isn't a wide audience for. Be the best at that. Or you don't have to be the best. Be the second best. Whatever. Just be in that, and just have fun and enjoy it, and what's cool about even the smaller communities, since there isn't a huge demand for it, you know, if you're the best of that small community like, everyone's gonna know that and find a way to put a spin on it where it's something unique and fun. I mean, it is way more difficult now, because everyone's creating content. Everyone's trying to become a YouTuber or Instagrammer, and I think the bottom line is yeah, you do wanna make money, but you also wanna enjoy it, because people can definitely see if it's just, you're like, I'm just starting this YouTube channel for money.
Yeah, if you're just, yeah, that's never gonna materialize. So any other things that were hard or people or voices in your life that tries to talk you out of following this stuff?
Yeah, I mean, I really didn't listen, but I, definitely in high school, it was a struggle, because I was still doing that and making YouTube, well, not YouTube. It wasn't out yet.
Yeah, well, there wasn't even like, video. Like I was doing like, flash.
Viddler was, yeah, that was a while. But Flash, I was real into Flash and ActionScript. So I was like creating little animated cartoons and making websites. So back in the day, like, that was sort of the comedy, 'cause video wasn't really a thing yet, and the bandwidth wasn't available. But yeah, everyone was very skeptical. And then when I moved out here with absolutely nothing, people were like, what are you doing? I'm like, I don't know. I also streamed my life for six months straight on Justin.tv.
We have to talk about that.
Yeah, we probably shouldn't, but I did. I did it, for six months straight.
Which is nuts. Yeah.
How do you stay safe and do that?
I don't know how I stayed safe or sane, to be honest with you. But it was, I think at the point after six months, maybe like five, I was like, I can't keep doing this, because...
Little back story or people who don't know, Justin.tv, Justin started streaming his life, and then, if I'm not mistaken, you were the first person not Justin?
Justine. People still to this day sometimes are skeptical and thinking that that's not my actual name. Like, I remember even 'cause I wasn't as well known then, so I was like, showing my ID to people, like, no, no, my name is actually Justine. And I'd met Justin at Macworld, and I saw this dude walking around with a camera on his head.
Didn't he have, it was kind of a bigger camera at that time, too.
It was. And I was like, bro, what are you doing? This is so cool.
He had a back pack.
Yeah. So I ended up being the second person other than Justin to have like a channel and stream. Then also I took over for him for a day whenever he had to go to like investor meetings and stuff. So I did that for a really long time, and I feel like I still have fans from that day that still watch now and that I feel like I'm super connected with, because they basically lived with me for six months straight. I mean, I took them everywhere. Not bathroom or shower, just for the record. This was a completely G-rated.
G-rated. Go back to earlier. G-rated.
I would play like piano for them. Terribly. It was like a child's piano. I mean, it was hard, trying to be entertaining for six months straight, 24/7.
So, I've done a lot of these interviews, and sometimes several in a day, and I did an Uber Live where I did 13 interviews in a day. And that little red light pointing out you for 13 hours, I have a lot of energy, so I never minded that stuff, but after like, 13 hours, I was like, all right. Like, brain not working so good. How about forever and always?
I mean, it was kind of just like hanging out with like a roommate, more or less, I feel like, that was sort of always there. I became so self-aware of everything. Like, what I was wearing, making sure I was completely covered up. It was kind of really crazy, because somebody was watching you at all times. But, you just kind of started talking to someone who wasn't there, which was also kind of strange. So like, what do you guys think of this? But there's nobody here.
The day after you stop, did you walk around talking to yourself all day?
I felt super alone after I stopped, which was kind of weird, because I got so used to having this instant access, this instant just community of people that I could crowd-source. Like, where should I go to lunch, or where should I go to dinner, or how do I get to this location? Like, I'm driving to New York. Help, my GPS isn't working. How do I get here? And I had like people in the chat like directing me and my friend that were driving to New York how to get places, and it was just so instant then, because it was, no one else was really doing this. And so people were just watching. It's so weird, when I think about it and talk about it.
And that was a long time ago, right?
2007. All right, so, would you say that that was the catalyst for YouTube for you, or was it some other, other way around? Was it your design background and making videos and being a video editor that preceded the Justin.tv? Like, I'm trying to uncover the path, and helping people pull on their own strings. Like, hey, there's something in your life that you care about. Why don't you pull on that string and see where it goes? So, which one happened for you first?
I mean, I was still doing all the video stuff, but my thought process was, it takes so long to edit. Why don't I just livestream? I won't have to edit. And then I did it, and I was like, wow, that's cool. But there is something about being able to take an edited piece and be able to make it exactly what you want, and then, you know, doing fun things that are live is also super cool, but I feel like now, when I do anything live, I spend more time telling everyone that I'm live so they don't say anything bad. It's not even a good livestream. So.
I'm live, I'm live.
Hey, I just wanna let everyone know.
Just so you know.
But live is, so, this show was live for, I think five years before we ever did an online version. And CreativeLive is live, and yet live is just, and has been since 2010, and yet live is, I feel like it's actually just now hitting its stride. But folks like you, me, some of these other things that we're doing, we're a little bit less live than we were maybe in when everything was live 24 hour a day for six months. Is that a, is there a backlash going on? Like, what's happening with live right now?
I feel like it's just so easy now. The tools are there. The connectivity is there. Everybody has the bandwidth to be able to consume that content. And, I mean, especially with gaming. I mean, some of the top viewed content on YouTube and top streamed, things like Twitch and other different streaming platforms, like, it's incredible. Like, that's what people are watching, and they're watching it live. And now, it's just easier, I think, in that the technology has caught up to today, essentially, and then everyone can watch and see. And it's also very scary.
Live. (Justine laughs) What the hell. So.
Instagram Live, Facebook Live. It's nuts.
All the time.
Periscope. Yeah. It really is.
Is there a... What's the future in that medium? Is it going to, I get asked this, so I'm dying to know what your take on it is as someone who's been doing live for seven years. I have mixed emotions. I just think that the gap between where, like, the gap is just continuing to shrink for information. But what's your take? Like, you know, is that good thing? Why? What's it gonna look like or what's it gonna feel like in a media landscape?
Yeah, I feel like we're already sort of getting a sense of that. The immediacy and the things that we're seeing that are being streamed live is entertaining. It's scary. I mean, I think we're gonna be seeing a lot more things that we wish that we hadn't seen live, and I think people are also turning to that as sort of accountability. They're like, well, I'm streaming live right now, so go ahead and do something. Go ahead. And I think it's gonna be, it's gonna be really scary, actually, to see where that all goes and just hope that, you know, it's a big responsibility, when you're going live. I don't think people who are doing that now understand that. Because you're also entertaining, but you're also putting everyone else sort of at risk, because whatever they say can be streamed to whoever knows how many people.
Right. What is your, does that make you want to shy away from that medium, because there's more risk in there, there's more risk of offending or tripping up or, and does that, by the same coin but the opposite side of that coin, make it more exciting and interesting?
Yeah, I mean, I'm totally fine going live. I don't care, as long as my friends are cool with it. I just really do care about other people's privacy and safety, and especially like, filming kids. It really sort of is kind of like that Wild West of like, what if I don't wanna be filmed? You know? And even sometimes, because I've been doing this for so long and so many of my friend are vloggers and things like that, it's just like, can we just, please just don't film me right now. I don't wanna talk. My sister does it, too, so it's like a day that I'm not vlogging, she is. So there really isn't like a, I don't know, just like a safe space. I just recently took a vacation for the first time, and I didn't edit for six days, and I started getting super antsy, though. I was like, man.
Like, this feels good for 48 hours, and then you're like.
Yeah, but it was so weird, because having that feeling of like, I have all of my videos prepped for this week. I actually don't have to edit anything. And it was kind of a crazy feeling. So it's like it's something that I haven't felt in a really long time.
All right, so I'm going to go back to the angle for trying to add value to other people who are listening to this specifically around what it takes. So you just said, I have all of my videos lined up. So, that, what that connotes when you say that is, that's a plan.
So clearly, it's not just, we talked about it being the Wild West, but that's more sort of in the media landscape. What about for you personally? How, and I know there's all kinds of different styles. Some people are really regimented. Some people are like, every day, you know, and focus on like, just every day at eight a.m., I'm posting a video, and there are people who are very random. So what about you? Structure? What do you think matters? What doesn't matter?
Yeah, I think you have to figure out what the landscape is, also. Like, back in the day, I used to post one video a month, and then I was like, uh-oh, I gotta post like, once every week, because as people are posting more content, I mean, now, you have to constantly be posting. So, you know, I've kind of figured out sort of a workflow that works for me and what works in my audience. I mean, I do try to post at least every day, and at one point, I was posting every day on my main channel, every day on my second channel, which was a little bit less edited, and then two gaming videos a day. So I was doing so many videos that I was actually like, losing my mind. And I got super depressed, and I was like, I'm not enjoying this anymore. So, I cut back, and now I basically only do like one channel, and I put most of my energy into that, and I'm able to create better content and more consistently and sort of just grow that. So there's like, one place that you can go. So I think you really need to listen to yourself, and if something isn't working, figure out how to change it. And also listen to your audience. You need to know what they wanna see. Ask them. They're there. They will tell you what they wanna see.
So, that was also a beautiful little segue to a friend of mine named Brene Brown. I don't know if you know Brene's work. She talks about gold-plated grit, and gold-plated grit, she identifies it as when, say, you and I are talking, and we talk about, oh, I got really depressed, but then when right back to the, like, oh, yeah, but then everything was awesome. I figured it out, and then I went to the Grammy's.
And I, you know, one of the things that, you mentioned being entertaining. I have always tried to have a super positive message, but there's theo there side of the coin, that this is hard, and if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. We talk a lot of people doing it, but you're 1/10 of 1/10 of 1/10 of a percent of the people who start.
So many people.
Yeah, but, you have made it successful, and so without, like, you and I weeping, what's the other side that people don't know about of being self-employed, of being a YouTuber, a content creator, all these hyphens that we've talked about, or a dog DJ.
Yeah, no, I mean, it's rough, and people don't see the bad days, where I'm just like, I actually can't get out of bed because I cannot bring myself to turn the camera on and be happy. And like, I like to film when I'm feeling good and I'm excited about something. So I like to, when I'm feeling great, I'll film a bunch of videos, and then if there's a day that I'm having a bad day and I just don't want to be bothered, I'll post one of those videos. But I'm also not opposed to talking about how I'm feeling, and if I'm having a down day, you know, I love making videos just to let people know, like, hey, this is real. Like, not everything's perfect, and I think that's a huge flaw with like the Instagram photos, is everyone always looks perfect and happy, which is great, because that's what you wanna portray.
Sure, you wanna see positivity.
But it's like, you do have to also be real with people, and I think there has to be a time and place for that, because I don't want people coming to my channel and just seeing me complaining and have a bad day or I don't feel well or this and that. So it's kind of finding that fine line of balance, because I want people to come to my channel when they're not feeling well. Then I can make them happy. But I also want them to know that it's a part of life and not everything's perfect.
Did it take you a while to figure that balance out? How do you be real, but also not, like, what if you have two bad days in a row?
That's happened. Sometimes, it's a bad week. And it does. And, you know, I think the good thing is there's other platforms, too. So, I mean, I can sit in bed and think of funny tweets all day. This is great. But it really is a fine line. It is a balance. And I don't think I've figured it out yet, and I think that's just a growing, learning curve, and it's a process that you just kind of work with your audience.
I think it's an interesting point that you raised around listening to your audience. So how much of you do you feel like you cultivate for the people who are paying attention to you? I don't know whether this sort of touches on celebrity, but I'm trying to make it more about creating. So how much of it, of what you create, is created for you, like, in service of your message, your vision, and how much of it is, is listening and responding to the world?
You know, I think some of the more difficult comments to read are when people are like, yeah, usually I really like your videos, but this one wasn't so good, and this is why. And I mean, for me, that's actually really difficult to hear. It's more difficult to hear than the, I hate you, you're stupid, you're ugly, you're fat. Everything is about you is the worst. You should die. I'm like, okay, whatever. Like, cool, I get it. Doesn't bother me. But, you know, hearing the constructive criticism, sometimes I'm like, shoot, like, these people, they are right. And using that and not being afraid to try to make better content, and, you know, listen to things that they like, and just, it really is kind of difficult sometimes, 'cause you're like, this is perfect. I love everything that I'm posting. And then you realize that well, maybe if you take their advice or take somebody else's advice, it can actually make it better.
Do you have a filter for that? How you decide that? Like, what to listen to, and what to discard? 'Cause I'm sure that's a spectrum.
And on a bad day, you might listen to something too far on one end of the spectrum. Or how do you, what's your sort of method there?
I don't think there's any method. It's just you read and you just kind of take it all with a grain of salt and try to figure out what you can of better next time and how to keep yourself entertained, really, and still enjoy doing it.
I think one of the things that as I'm, yeah, water break. As I'm listening to you, there's this recurring theme of sort of taking care of yourself first. It's like the, put your oxygen mask on before assisting other passengers.
Yes, it's true.
But I think that's a really important point, too. You know, there's a lot of folks out there especially in the, now the creativity is sort of at its all-time high, and it's being recognized, and sort of valued for the thing that it is, but I think in previous worlds, it was thought that you had to have a destructive, painful life in order to be creative and to write about your hardships and, you know, go all Jim Morrison.
Yeah, for musicians, maybe, for sure.
Yeah, but clearly that's not what you, you know, that doesn't seem to me a representation of you or a whole host of the people who I pay attention to who are in our peer group. What do you think? Is that an important ingredient? It sounds like you don't have that hangup.
No, I mean, I like, I don't know. I feel like you get in these modes, and motivation sometimes is super difficult. So I think that's one of the things that I do struggle with, because, you know, I technically work for myself. So how do I wake up every day and, you know, find that motivation to keep going, and it sounds like, how do I keep going? I just don't know.
It's so hard.
It is so hard. But it is. I mean, I still shoot, edit everything, so it's like, I'm setting up lights, I'm setting up my cameras, and then like last night, I shot this entire video, and I didn't realize that it could stop recording halfway through. So I was like, I just lost a half an hour of incredible stuff that I could have been using. So, like, those things happen too, and I'm just like, so frustrated. And then I have to wait until the lighting is perfect. And it's just these little things that end up kind of grinding on you every single day. And, you know, it is a process, but again, I love the final outcome. I love connecting with people. And I know we keep reiterating this. It's just like, what do you wanna do? You know? I'm so lucky and I have so much fun doing it, and I actually love editing more than anything.
So, I'm just like, I need to hurry up and shoot this stupid video so I can get to editing and I can just be like, in my zen.
Said no one, ever. Said like, professional editors.
I know, but there's nothing that I can ever focus on. Like, I'm super ADD everywhere. Making Lego, building Lego sets and editing, I'm in my happy place. Complete zen, completely focused.
So, let's shift gears. You personally, Justine. Background? Came from Pittsburgh. It's cold in Pittsburgh.
It is cold.
Now you're in L.A.. It's warm. But there's a bunch of other stuff in between. So, you referenced like, making videos in sixth grade. You referenced being a computer, I don't know if you said nerd or geek. You said one of those things.
I was, I mean, I guess technically you could call it that, but now it's cool to be that.
So I'm so jealous.
But give us a little bit of your personal arc, like, figuring it out, being awkward, and, yeah. 'Cause they heard Pittsburgh computer class, and now they heard moved to L.A., slept on the floor for two months. But give me a little bit of color in between about you, the human.
Yeah, so I'd say sixth grade is when I made my first website, which was when I was like, oh my God, this was incredible. And I remember going to my first website, nintendo.com, and I was like, cool. How do they make this? And then I went to like, view source, and I saw all these symbols and letters and everything. I was like, oh, wow, what is this? So then I looked up what that was. I was like, oh, HTML. Cool. And then I kept teaching myself how to like, make simple code. I mean, sixth grade, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. But now, kids in sixth grade are...
Everything. It's incredible, and it's so cool to see that. But from that, it just kept growing, like my love of technology. And I was making animations in seventh and eighth grade, and then I had like that daily random photo site all through high school. And I got one of my first video cameras. It was like a digital, tiny little Sony. Yeah, it was crazy. It was great. So then I was doing that kind of stuff and just always posting it and making content and trying to make my family laugh. And then I started posting videos on I guess not YouTube quite yet, but I was just filming like my day and just making funny things in between. So I was basically vlogging before vlogging was even a thing. I ran like a tech blog. I was always like, reviewing different cool and new websites. It was called Tasty Blog Snack, which is so strange. I don't know. And then me and my friend Desiree who I met in college, we both shared sort of that same mindset of just like, weird, creative, wanted to make fun, cool stuff. You know, I definitely owe a lot of the original video-making stuff that we did, like, we always did that together, and we started like a podcast back in the day when podcasting was not even a thing. You know, it's just a lot of things.
Nontraditional. I'm hearing, like, college? Yes, no?
I did. It was a two-year school, but I went for like video production, editing, like, 3D. It was like everything all in two years straight.
Was there a pressure to do that, like, familial, societal, cultural? Is that why you did it? Or did you go to actually get the skills?
I'm glad that I did go. I'm glad that I didn't do a traditional school, because I think even my mom knew that that wasn't right for me. She kept trying to force me to take my SATs and all that stuff, and I was like, I just wanna play on my computer. And she saw the stuff that I was doing, and I think she saw that there was a passion and I actually was doing a really good job. I was like creating websites for everybody in the community, which is, the middle of nowhere, so it was kind of like the outlying communities. So that was sort of like my job, like, freelancing, in like, seventh grade, making websites for like, local sheep farms. (both laugh) So silly.
So I mean, I'm just so lucky that like my mom really was so supportive of, you know, thinking back now, she could have been like, no, you've gotta go to college. You need to have a traditional degree. And my little sister, she went to, she has a forensics degree, a biology degree, a speech pathology degree, like all this crazy stuff, and now she makes YouTube videos. Went to college for five years. So, she's doing quite well making YouTube. So, you know, there's nothing wrong with taking that traditional path, because I think sometimes doing that, you'll find what you really love. And for me, I was lucky that I knew that I loved video production and editing. So going to school, and I met so many incredible people there and I really did find myself and found that it was okay to be doing and liking what I was doing. And everybody there was super supportive of all the weird and crazy things that I like doing. So it was like, I'm feeding off of this creativity of other strange and fun and creative people.
That's what's beautiful about, you know, at that time, there was probably more of the place where you would go to get that. 'Cause that is an environment where those things and those ideas are happening, and people are open to them, and it's experimentation. But now that's actually not needed, right.
Yeah, the internet.
Because you have your community. We just talked about people who want to knit portraits of rock stars.
I bet they're out there. We have to find them. We need to.
This is happening. Can I use my phone now? I'm going to Google this.
We need to find it. We need to know.
We're currently live. Oh, okay.
Instagram Live, hello!
There she is. All right then. I'm gonna end. Bye, people, 'cause I need to go find knit, what is it?
Yeah, people who knit portraits of rock stars. Are you out there?
Let's see. Portrait, rock star, knitting. Portrait rock star knitting. Rock star knitting patterns. Well, there's knitting patterns, so there's definitely, it's gotta be a thing. (Chase laughs) This is incredible. Okay, well, that's a hat. So, we're gonna need to do a little bit of research, but it's out there.
But it's out there. So there's a thing. All right, so, somewhat nontraditional education as a sixth grader coding, 'cause that was sort of a little bit fringe. It's becoming more mainstream. Two-year degree. Decided not to go to college. Was it somewhere in the middle of your two-year degree where you figured, you know what, I'm going to L.A., 'cause that's where the things that I want to do and be happen?
No. So, the two-year was like, okay, I have an associate's, so I have something to be like, which my mom really did want me to go and just have at least something to fall back on in case whatever it was that I was doing. And then after that, I worked at a graphic design place. We made like, brochures and flyers and even like vinyl car wraps, which was my favorite, because all that extra vinyl and that space that I had when I was like, putting it in illustrator, I made my own little decals. I was printing out Apple logos and passing 'em out to all my friends. Super, you know, just, yeah, that's cool.
That's a cool thing to do. But, yeah. And so then after that, it was kind of crazy, 'cause I had a guy come in, who, he was getting a bunch of flyers printed and a bunch of design stuff made up, and he goes, hey, do you know how to edit video? I'm like, yes, please. That's what I wanna do, and I'm here doing graphic design, which is fine. I still love it. He's like, well, I'll double your salary if you come work for me. I was like, what? Okay, cool. Like, as a just-out-of-college person that has no idea what they're doing and is making no money, I was like, that sounds great. Let's do it. So I go in for the interview. He asks me if I know how to use Avid. I don't know how to use Avid, but I'll figure it out, so yes, I do.
Avid, oh my God.
I know. And at that point, I was editing in Premiere. So I was like, well, if I can edit in Premiere, timeline, it's all the same. Not the same at all. So I get in there like the first day, and thankfully they have another editor, and he basically like helped me and taught me basically all of the basics. So I was like, great. I'm now an Avid editor, after a week. So doing that, it was actually a chiropractor, and we made like these movie commercial things for chiropractic.
For just one office?
Yeah, but he sold like these instruments worldwide, so we would have to go to like all of these different conferences and film and do all these crazy things, but again, I think I talked about earlier, I was a super-fast editor, so I was like, great, all of those are done. Now I have time to do whatever else I want. So, I was filming like, videos in the office of my friend Desiree, who then, I took her from the graphic design place, 'cause we both went to the same college, both graduated there, worked at the graphic design, and then I brought her over to the chiropractor, and then we're just making funny videos in the office. So my first YouTube video is from that office.
And people can go there right now.
Yep, it's still there. I was making oatmeal in the microwave.
That's a video, see?
I know, but it was so silly, and I didn't know what I was doing. I basically started making those videos so that I could learn Final Cut Pro on the side of learning Avid, 'cause it was like, I'm not into this. And I wanted to use a Mac, and it was on a PC.
So, that's first job out of college-ish. We're still not in California yet.
Nope, we're still in Pittsburgh. So those were those two jobs, and then the chiropractic job was so awful. I mean, we were working 80-plus hours a week, nothing. I mean, actually, it was a pretty abusive environment, and we don't have to go into details, 'cause it was really bad. Just, employees treated terribly, everything about it.
Well, they tore down the place and it's now an Eat and Park, if anybody knows what Eat and Park is. So, some of the old-school employees, we like to dine there and just reminisce. But after that, so, Desiree, she quit fairly recently after I quit, and then we started doing just freelance stuff, and I was doing YouTube videos. And then I saw there was a Yahoo talent show contest in like 2007. The winner gets $50,000, a trip to New York, and I ended up entering it, made a bunch of videos, and then we ended up in like the top five, so we flew to New York. Tom Green was one of the judges. Long story short, I ended up losing. Came in second.
Second. First loser.
Didn't win the money. Yeah. So that sucked. But it sort of for me and the rest of my family and immediate friends, they were like, oh, cool, this is actually something.
Like, you were on the front page of Yahoo. And then when the first iPhone came out, it was probably 2007, too, and I was livestreaming, I still hadn't moved, but I didn't even have enough money for the phone. Like, I couldn't even buy it, and that was like, my life. Like, that was all I wanted. Thankfully some company offered to fly me out to the Mall of America to go and sort of cover the launch for my blog, and they didn't pay me. I just got to go to the launch. So I still didn't have money for the phone. But I was technically first in line filming the guy first in line. I was like, cool, have fun. Go buy your phone. I'm not gonna get one. And then flew back home.
Still had my Sprint phone. And then they ended up sending me one.
And it was like, it was like, the coolest thing anyone has ever done for me. It really did change everything. Because that phone, I mean...
We all know.
I'm getting emotional now, just thinking about the first iPhone. And of course it was one of the first viral videos too that I had. You know, I unboxed that, and then I got like, this crazy phone bill. For anybody that doesn't know, it was 300 pages, and mostly because of Twitter, because Twitter used to only send text messages.
So, super early.
Yeah. It was like 40404. You would text, and then it would send a tweet. And then there wasn't much of a web presence, so you would be getting everyone's text messages as, like, status updates, in text. So I had like 30 to 50,000 text messages. AT&T itemized every single line in a phone bill. I'm flipping through the pages, it was a thing.
And that's also still on YouTube, right?
Yeah, that's still there.
Did you ever get that thrown out?
No, I still have it. Yeah, it's at my parents' house. It's great.
Did you have to pay it?
Oh, it was only $250, which was, like an activation fee and like two months of the phone bill. So they weren't charging, I had unlimited texts, so that was good. They just itemized every single thing, which was the craziest.
Did it come in a box?
Yeah, it was like a, a good size.
Like a box of paper?
Yeah. So silly.
Okay. So, get the iPhone, change everything. You're still not in California.
No, I guess not, huh? So, I think I first...
But, I think, again, there's something there that I'm also, this is the way that I'm going at this, is that you basically created your career, your life, your vision for what it is you wanted to do and be. You didn't have to be in New York or L.A. or any sort of major city in order to start your life.
So many people that I correspond with or see in my community that are like, I just need to do this. There's always another hurdle. I need to get a better camera. I need to, you know, move out of my parents' house, and I need to go to New York to start my fashion photography career, start my filmmaking career, and I'm trying to get people to understand that I don't actually know anybody who decided to do nothing where they were and then saved up all their time and energy and only started when they went to New York or whatever. There's all kinds of pilgrimage stories, but it's after you've started your thing and actually you care about it enough to make the journey. But I wanna hear about it from you.
No, that's so true. And I mean, I feel like if I could have came out here to L.A., I just would have been another girl trying to do auditions, and, oh, she has blonde hair, cool. I'll go cast you as an extra doing that. And for me, you know, I had no concept of L.A.. I didn't know anything. So I was like, I never even wanted to move here. Like, why would I wanna go...
I like sheep farms.
Yeah, there's no reason. I don't know. I mean, I was so happy in Pittsburgh. I loved it. I had my friends, and everything was going really well. And I think something that I realize now is, you know, I quickly rose to the top of Pittsburgh. Everybody in Pittsburgh knew who Justine was. iJustine, crazy girl, camera, blah, blah, blah.
Camera on her head.
So it's like, be the best where you are, and then when you outgrow that, then it's time to go. So that's something that I didn't realize I was even doing, had no idea until now. But then, you know, I took a meeting out in L.A., and then I came out, I think the first time.
You say, took a meeting. Like, people were starting to notice?
Yeah, so I was getting agency requests, and I was like, I don't know. This is all foreign to me. I don't know what's happening. And even to this day, I love being super independent and knowing that everything I'm doing, I control and I make and I own. But the first time I went to San Francisco was for the Mac WWDC Conference, or it was Macworld at that time. So it was like the launch of the new iPhone, and that's where they announced it, and I was like, holy crap. There's a whole 'nother world out here that I didn't even know existed. Because my entire world was in Pittsburgh. Everything I knew, all my friends, everything, and that was the first time where I felt like I outgrew where I was. And I was like, I wanna be here. And then in that same trip, I also went to L.A., and I'm like, man, this is crazy. There's a whole 'nother world. And that's when I felt like it was time to go. And I sort of just like moved and never really came back, because I don't think I really told anybody that I was moving. I didn't think I really knew I was moving. So I just, I feel like you just gotta do it. Again, it feels so easy to say, but if you guys were in my shoes back in the day, you definitely wouldn't say that.
Talk to me about some of the emotions. Fear, any of that stuff, or did you feel like you always had a handle on it? Resourceful, smart, hardworking, you're gonna get there.
I think so. I mean, I kind of always have this thought in the back of my mind is like, well, no matter what happens, like, I'm gonna figure it out, and there was a lot of, oh, crap, I gotta figure out this situation. And constantly always hitting a wall of something wrong. Like, I'm in trouble. Like, I could, I mean, I could essentially die doing whatever these crazy things are. I mean, it's a little bit far-fetched, but even silly things like, oh, another really good story, back when Twitter was, it was super small, I remember landing in Vegas and seeing, I tweet, oh, I'm in Vegas. Cool, so excited. Tony Hsieh tweets me and says, hey, wanna come by the office? I don't know Tony. He's the CEO of Zappos. Had no idea.
Yeah, at that point, that was like when they were just.
He was like, well, I'll come pick you up, and you can take a tour of the office. Picks me up at the airport. Totally never met him. Like, I'm getting in a car with an essential stranger going to tour Zappos, and, you know, I think it's, I'm not saying get in the car with strangers, 'cause you definitely shouldn't be doing that, but I just feel like sometimes, that gut feeling, you need to listen to it. And, I mean, sometimes it might steer you wrong, but for the most part, it's like, you know yourself, and if you don't, you will.
I'm a huge freak about intuition. I think it's the strongest thing that we have that works for us. Like you said also, as wise as it is, sometimes it can lead you astray. But you also know as soon as you've gone astray. Like, ah, I think I messed up on that one. I'm gonna get back on the path. So, it's fair to say that you have done a good job of paying attention to that?
Yeah, I mean, there's been a lot of situations where I'm in that situation, 'cause I'm like, oh, this is a great idea. I'm like, oh, my God. What am I doing? Like, this is a terrible idea. And just kind of like, I feel like staying calm is sometimes a very difficult thing to do, but it's the best thing to do, because you really can't think when you're going crazy and sporadic, and I think sometimes that also hurts me when I'm playing video games, 'cause I start freaking out. Especially playing Call of Duty. I start raging. I'm like, no. I need to breathe. I need to focus. And then I start playing better. So, you can use it for all aspects of your life.
I love you, especially in long-term, long-form. Like, so much of the you that I think your fans get is small, bite-sized pieces, two, three, five minutes, which is awesome. That's part of your media. But to hear you explicate along these things is, I really want you to know that I appreciate that.
Well, thank you. Yeah, this is rough. I'm like, five minutes? Cool, we're done. Now I gotta go edit.
You should have seen her when I said, yeah, we'll record for about an hour. Her eyes went, okay.
No, it's cool. I mean, I love doing this type of stuff, but again, it's, you know, the nature of I feel like what I've created isn't a sit-down setting. Maybe this'll be next. Who knows.
I love hearing you talk about the things that, you can get it in the book, you can get it in probably some other pieces of your life or you can piece of together, but I love hearing it all in one place. So, speed round. I love beverages.
There's like five different beverages over there.
Yeah, well, I've got about two favorites.
You have two, you have three. Did you walk in with coffee? You walked in with mate?
This is yerba mate, yes.
Yep, yerba mate, and we're drinking water. Favorite beverage, is it yerba mate?
Oh my gosh, yes. I found them in 2011, Comic-Con. I had one, and I have been addicted ever since. So good.
Candy, snack, candy.
Oh my God, Junior Mints. Still a favorite.
Also there's a company called Sarris back where I'm from, and it is the best candy ever. S-A-R-R-I-S. I swear to you, it will change your life. I'll send you some. Do you like candy?
Okay, good. Just making sure.
But, like, I'm more of a Swedish fish, and I'm more of a Milk Dud. Milk Dud versus, what'd you, go ahead.
You might still be able to get them. Valentine's Swedish fish, they're heart-shaped. They're so much better than the actual fish, because it's a better consistency. It will blow your mind.
When they get a little hard, I gotta say, I don't love 'em.
Yeah, you'll love the hearts. Order them before they get stale.
Order them before they sell out when this video comes out.
Yes! So good.
This is gonna be creepy.
Okay. I'm ready for creepy. Bring it on.
It still is my favorite movie, Requiem for a Dream.
What about it is special for you?
I think for me it was the first time that I watched it where I was really paying attention to production and editing, and also, it kind of, I saw the, the ups and the down of how quickly things can change in your life, and I feel like that, just knowing and seeing that movie at a young age sort of kept me completely just, aware of how quickly things can also fall away, and it still is crazy to me. Like, I've never done drugs. It still is a crazy thing that people are like, really? You've never even smoked a cigarette? I'm like, no. I didn't drink until I was 23. I do enjoy a nice glass of wine, though, I will say. But, you know, I think, I don't know, that movie, it definitely resonated with me. So I feel like every child should watch it.
Favorite town that's not your own?
I love San Francisco. I really do.
It's a special place.
It really is.
I spent most of my time there.
You can find anything there.
How about favorite place abroad?
Favorite place abroad.
Ooh, I had a really, hmm. I really wanna go to Croatia. My sister went there, and it looked incredible. I had a really fun time in Italy, actually.
How about, favorite non-cartoon character?
Non-cartoon character. Do you have a favorite character?
Oh my God, what? But isn't everyone essentially sort of a cartoon character? 'Cause like, I would say like, Iron Man. He's sort of... Is that? Does that count?
That's fair, that's fair.
Yeah, yeah, no, that's fair. Yesterday. Would you give yourself some advice on yesterday? What could you do different or better?
Oh, God. I don't even remember what I did yesterday. (Chase laughs)
I love it.
That's awful. I'm like, that's gone, done.
I probably would have started filming a little bit earlier so that I would have had the video done for today. So, yeah. But, you know what? I can't stress about it. It'll be up tomorrow or the next day or maybe next week. Someday.
That's a thing. See, there's just like, rolling with it. Any questions for me, questions for the audience at home?
Yeah, I mean, what?
No person's ever said no to that, by the way. I like that. Go ahead. I'm buying myself time.
I mean, I guess for people at home, it's like, what are you most passionate about? What's like your favorite thing?
My favorite thing, especially right now, is trying to help other people just tap into the thing that I've tapped into, which is what we've been talking about for the last, like, I don't know, 55 minutes, which is the ability to make a living and a life doing almost literally anything that you love. And getting your recipe for how you did it and others, you know, the Bransons, the Cubans, the folks who are super fancy entrepreneurs, I've had the opportunity to change ideas around, and then, little-known musicians who people have never heard of or have been become famous, like, getting a huge range of perspectives and helping other people tap into that. I started out, I mean, I think last time we hung out in, it was the pre-Trump White House. We were at the last week of the Obama administration. We were doing some influencer stuff at the White House. And it occurred to me, not at that visit, on a previous visit, that, wait a minute, I started taking pictures of my friends skateboarding like when I was, you know, whatever, 16, 17. And now I'm getting asked to like, what? Like, how is that linear? And that's my thing, is it's not linear. And so putting a ton of energy through CreativeLive, through this and helping people realize that you literally can do that. That can be a thing. You can make up your own script. And also, if you don't write that script, someone else is definitively going to write it for you.
True, it's so true. Yeah, I mean, I was taking band photos. Like, I was like, I want to be a photographer now. This is great. And then the photography turned into video once the DSLRs had video. And it's, you just kind of go with it, and I think for me, I'm very vocal about the things that I like. Like, I will talk about it all day on Twitter. Everyone thinks that I'm always sponsored. Half the time, I'm not. I'm just like honestly like, liking this thing. And then it comes back full circle, because the brand will notice that, oh my God, you really love this? Well, how can we help support you? And I think that's so important. Because, you know, just letting people know the things that you like. like, the day that Pizza Hut followed me on Twitter, I cried. I died. And then two years later, there's an iJustine pizza at Pizza Hut. Things don't happen overnight, and if they do, you're so lucky. We're talking about time. We've been doing this for so long, and still doing it.
I feel so lucky to have you here. I wanna say thank you very, very much.
Thanks for having me. This was awesome.
Much gratitude. And, you're the iJustine everywhere.
You gotta get there early.
You gotta get there early. I'm also Justine on Twitter.
Put a stake in it, put a stake in it. What's that?
I'm also Justine on Twitter.
It's private. I'm a sandwich.
Oh, that's right. So you know. Thank you so much for being on the show.
I appreciate it. Another video coming out next week. (steady instrumental music)