What if you could turn a hobby or passion — maybe something you loved or were crazy about as a kid — into a thriving goldmine of a business?
That's exactly what Nick, AKA PokeRev, has done. Pokemon was his passion as a kid, it's something that's deeply steeped in nostalgia for him. He's managed to turn that joy into a super-successful YouTube channel. Thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people join him on his live streams and he's been able to grow his subscribers to nearly 300k in just about a year!
I got to know Nick because I've recently gotten into the space a bit myself, even launching a new YouTube channel of my own called Deep Pocket Monster — you can hear more about it in session 464. Especially you're unfamiliar with the Pokemon card-collecting space, I highly recommend checking out PokeRev so you can see what rabid fans look like — Nick has done an amazing job over there.
This is going to be a fun one. We're talking about how Nick got into the space, the strategies and mindsets he uses to bring high energy to every one of his live streams, how he keeps his enthusiasm for Pokemon going while still running a business, and how he handles the pressure of being a prominent Pokemon card-collecting influencer. Whether you're new to the hobby or not, definitely give this one a listen.
Nick (AKA PokéRev)
Nick, better known as PokéRev, has been involved in the Pokémon community for over 5 years but spans back to as early as the late ’90s. The spark began at the age of 9 with the original 151 Pokémon and has continued to grow ever since. He is involved with many different aspects of the TCG, from collecting, to running an online collectibles store, to his newest passion, creating video content on Youtube. After years of building up his collection and knowledge in the hobby, he decided it was time to do something more. He started his Youtube channel in December of 2019. He is now dedicated to growing an amazing community of people with the same passion as him. He wants to build a community where everyone is welcome and no one is judged. He also runs the online PokéRev store which mainly focuses on collectible vintage Pokémon products, which include but are not limited to sealed products, graded cards, and more. You can also find his collection showcased on Instagram.
- How Nick was able to grow his YouTube channel to nearly 300,000 subscribers in a year
- The strategies Nick uses to create a tight-knit community with his YouTube channel
- Why Pokemon cards have the power to bring a whole community of super fans together
- How Nick balances his passion for the Pokemon card hobby with the business he's running (and stays sane)
- Why Nick will never sell some of the cards in his collection
- How Nick handles the pressure of being an influencer in the Pokemon space
- What income streams Nick utilizes in his business (apart from YouTube)
- How Nick gets amped up for his YouTube lives, and why it's so important to him to bring the energy
- The bigger Why around Nick's passion for his YouTube channel
- A sustainable approach for improving your live streams
SPI 469: How Nick Turned His Passion into a Diverse Entrepreneurial Goldmine
I want you to think back to when you were a kid, or maybe you are a kid right now, but either way, I want you to think about a hobby that really lit you up, that you couldn't stop thinking about, that you would spend all your allowance money on. And I want you to imagine, now, doing that full-time as a business, having the time of your life, and making quite a bit of money doing so, plus the ability to help and connect, and serve others too. Wouldn't that be great?
Well, today we're talking with Nick, otherwise known as PokeRev. Yes, Poke, as in Pokemon. Nick is a prolific live streamer and YouTuber, who has took his passion about Pokemon card collecting and turned it into an absolute empire. And I've gotten to know Nick very well over the past year, especially because it's only been about a year since he's been on YouTube and has grown to nearly 300,000 YouTube subscribers.
And you can tell every time you watch him live - and I watch him live every single week, trust me - he's having the time of his life. The audience that's there, sometimes thousands of people watching him live, they're so thankful for it. I am personally thankful for it. And there's some crazy stories that go along with this too that I'll tell you about in just a minute. But sit back, relax, this is going to be a fun one with Nick from PokeRev. Let's start the show.
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it's all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host - if he could have any superpower, it would be the ability to tell stories people wouldn't want to miss - Pat Flynn!
What's up. Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. And today, we're talking with a really good friend of mine, Nick from PokeRev. You can find him on YouTube, P-O-K-E-R-E-V, is the name of his channel. And like I said earlier, he's just grown like crazy over the past year. And I'm just really excited to unpack everything from - not just his origin story and how this all got started for him. And there's a very interesting tie in fact to Smart Passive Income, because he used to listen to the podcast years ago, in fact. And he tells that story and how this show in fact inspired him to get started, not with the Pokemon stuff, he found that later, but with some other stuff too. And he'll unpack that for us a little bit.
And then I want to get into his work ethic. We talk about his revenue streams, how he diversifies, and just his workflow and productivity schedule and some of the stuff that he is running into right now as a result of the fast and rapid growth, which I think is very important to hear. So, make sure you stick around for that. And if this sounds familiar to you, you might remember episode 464, where in fact I actually speak about a little side project that I put together during the pandemic over the last months in the Pokemon space. I started a YouTube channel called Deep Pocket Monster. And if you want to hear more about that and how I was able to fit that in, and how it's been going, you can check that out in episode 464.
But for right now, this is all about Nick and his story. Again, you can find him at PokeRev on YouTube. Man, he's awesome. Here he is.
What's up, Nick. Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for being here, man.
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
I'm really excited to dive into your story because you and I have just gotten to know each other recently, as I deeply step into the world of Pokemon, which is where you're known from. And you have this amazing channel called PokeRev. And I first saw you actually on Gary V. And you started opening packs on his channel. And I was like, "What is this guy doing?" I come to your channel, I'm like, now I'm a mod in your live streams. I'm that involved now. And I've just come to appreciate everything you do. And I can't wait to unpack these stories. And so, I'd love to know, if you were to describe to anybody who doesn't know who you are yet, how would you describe what it is that you do?
So, I'd say like a combination of a lot of different things that just molded together. But pretty much what I do is YouTube full-time. And the cool part about it is, it's a bunch of my passions just combined together: business, Pokemon, nostalgia, and just building communities. And it just molds together, and then that's what you got.
And when did you start your YouTube channel?
I started the channel a little over a year ago.
So, a little over a year ago. And I know you're keeping track of the sub numbers. And the sub numbers are just one component of success. And it really doesn't mean much if you're not helping your audience, which you are. But just to give people some perspective, from a year ago til now, how many subscribers do you have currently?
So, I was able to get to 240,000.
That's crazy dude. How does that feel to have that kind of rapid growth? I know that's not what you expected because you had said that you'd wanted at least a hundred thousand by the end of the year. And that was like a stretch goal. And here you are, two and a half times that. What's going through your head now that you've seen this quarter million people following you now?
It's always grateful, super, super grateful, and always feel like it's something that you work as hard as you can, but at the end of the day, you don't know exactly what that's going to convert to numbers-wise. As you said, again, that's just one component of it, is the numbers. But you just do your thing and you keep pushing it, and you just see what happens.
And where I felt after a year of being on YouTube was somewhere way, way, way further than I had imagined that I could get to in one year. Like you said, the stretch goal was a hundred thousand subscribers, which was just that 100,000 subscribers. It was the goal that you write down, that you put on, like as the very, very best scenario, like everything goes perfectly times a hundred. And then on top of that, just everything goes perfectly. But what happened was it just went well beyond anything that I could have ever imagined. So, at the end of the day, I'm still sitting here thinking like, how is this still moving? How are we still able to do this?
As far as how, in your words, how do you think this all happened? Why do you think it's growing so quickly?
Well, it's a bunch of different factors, I would say. Number one, I think the most important is really doing something different, being unique, and trying to do things that other people are not doing. Because if you're doing the same thing as other people, there's no reason for people to come to my channel, come to the community and be a part of it, because they can get that from a thousand other places. If you can create something unique that people actually enjoy and would like to be a part of, and are entertained or informed, or whatever it is, that's how you can build. That's one — again, there's all these different components, and that's one of the components to it, I think.
Being in the community myself, I see exactly the kind of effect that you have with your crowd, your subscribers, your followers, the PokeCave, as you call it. I very much feel like a member. I'm a paying member within the stream as well. And I see people commenting like, "Hey, I've been watching you for six hours straight." I see people who are like, "Hey, back again for the 30th time in a row." Or, "Hey, I had a dream about you last night." That doesn't just happen. Right? And there's of course, a lot of YouTubers who have way more followers even who don't have that kind of connection with their audience. I'd love to know what specific things that you know you do that helps with that, that help make people feel like they belong to the community.
That's a really cool question. So, one of the real big things that I think is another big component of it is that interactivity, almost like the one-on-one experience. Because one of the unique things that I feel like I brought to the table was the really getting into the live stream aspect of this thing, where whoever wants to be a part of this community can sit down during a live stream, say what's up. And I try to talk back to as many people as I can. And I say, "How are you doing? How's your day? And thank you for being in the PokeCave." Which I do truly appreciate anybody that shows up and actually takes time out of their day to sit down and say, "Yo, what's up Rev."
I feel like it's a closer sort of connection with the community, the audience, and not only just me with the community, but the actual community themselves, because everyone's sitting in there chatting away, talking about what they're collecting, what they're doing. And not only that, one of the other things is they can even have their packs opened up on the channel, so they can actually grab packs from the PokeCave. And I'll actually open the packs for them. So, essentially they are a part of the content. They are in the video in a way.
Yeah, and that was going to actually lead to my next question, which is, why are people paying you to open their packs? And I think you just said it exactly, they're now a part of it. And they almost get a little bit of recognition. And I do notice you do a very good job despite there being 7,000, 8,000 people in the room, by the way, which is insane. Because every morning I go live, I get 200, 300, and that's in and of itself a hard time often. And then you have way more. And I think a part of what has helped that is you've done a good job of selecting certain people in the audience to be moderators and whatnot. And there's very specific strategies related to live streams and such.
But I think you're absolutely right, it's that connection. And you actually root for people. I can feel that when you pull a big card, and you mention that person's name, you congratulate them. Everybody is in it together. It's almost like we're watching a sports game, but you're just opening card packs.
And I know there's a lot of older people in the audience who are like, "What is even Pokemon?" It's these trading cards. Can you speak to the psychology and the energy, just to help those who are like, "I just don't understand what the appeal is of these pieces of cardboard with these creatures on them." That, yeah, for some reason they have value, but more than that, they're bringing this community together and they're making people feel good about themselves. Can you speak to that?
Yeah. So, let's take a look out from the outside, right? People looking in. And I've even had people, plenty of people that stumble across during even a livestream, and they jump in and they just have no idea what is happening at all, not the slightest clue. You just see a guy sitting here, opening cards, screaming, and going over the top with everything, getting excited with everybody.
So, it's really getting into that mindset of like the collectible aspect of it. And then the nostalgia point is another big thing that drives people to want to do this. So, collectibles, right? That in itself, you could talk about, you could write books on that, which there are plenty out there. But to get a certain item that other people can not have is something that people really enjoy. If you can pull this card, that you're one of a very select few people that own, and not only that, you own it in a perfect condition is, you're a select few people that own that special piece of cardboard.
At the end of the day, it's cardboard. But it's more than that to a lot of people. A lot of people have special connections with these characters because they grew up with them. I know myself, I grew up with them as a kid. I'd watch the show, I'd collect the cards. And it's all coming back full force as an adult, going down memory lane. Opening a pack of cards, it feels like I'm still, I'm sitting in the car with my family. We're driving to go get breakfast at the diner. And we stop on the way to the card shop and grab a couple packs. And I'm sitting there opening them up in the car on the way, hoping to get the Charizard, the Blastoise. These are all these Pokemon that as kids we wanted to collect because we saw them on TV, we played the games. And it just becomes a part of people's identity.
There's a lot of people listening who are probably very much admiring the way that you've been able to combine your passion, part of your childhood, to now what it is that you do for work and to support your family and whatnot. But I also know some people who have tried to go down this route, taking a hobby and interest that they might have, turning it into a business, and then completely hating it, completely feeling like it's now work and it's not fun anymore. Have you ever felt those feelings of, "Oh my gosh, I got to do this again"? Or has it always been great/ And then how do you balance the hobby versus the business and stay sane, I guess?
So with me, I have a pretty long history of, I guess you could say entrepreneurship or just doing my own thing on the business side of it. So, I feel like I'm very well versed on the business side of things. And the thing with me - that's a lot of people, I'm not the only one, but a lot of people for business that is another passion and hobby. So, it's almost as if I've fused both of these passions and hobbies together. So, if it is leaning more one way on the business side, or if it's leaning one way on the collectible side or the nostalgia side, I'm fine with it because I actually enjoy both of those ends of it. There's not one part of it that I'm like, "You know what? I don't like this aspect of it. I don't like the business side of it." And things like that, because I do enjoy that.
And so for me, it just works out. But I could see how it could go the other way for some people and be like, "You know what? I don't like it. I don't like diving that deep into the business side of it." Or, "I don't like diving that deep into the collectible side of it."
Right, right. I had a friend of mine, her name is Chalene Johnson. She's been on the show before. She is an avid snowboarder, loves snowboarding, had this opportunity to create a clothing line in the snowboarding space. Went to a couple meetings with some business people and just realized that, wow, this was going to completely affect her love for snowboarding. And it was just going to become a chore and a job and a business now. And she just wouldn't be able to enjoy the slopes anymore. And it's really cool. I'm curious to know if you think that in order to succeed with a business about a hobby or a passion that you have, you have to also learn to love the business side as well?
I never really thought of it like that. I guess you could say in a way you really have to make smart choices. But also I still have seen plenty of people that have just strictly been on the collectible side of it and zero business side of it whatsoever. And out of pure, just interest and just going after what you enjoy, and what you want to collect, that in itself has made some of the biggest collectors in the hobby with some of the most valuable collections, purely, purely for just collecting purposes for personal passion.
I mean, there's guys in this hobby that have been doing it for five years, 10 years. And you can imagine with the boom of Pokemon over the years, their collection that maybe just say, for example, that they spent over five or 10 years, a hundred thousand dollars on, and then to today, the number is just out of world, all just because they collected it and they went for all these things that they wanted. And they never sold anything, and they just kept putting a little bit, whatever their budget is for the week. If it's a couple hundred, 500 or a thousand a week, putting that in consistently every week, and not knowing one day they'd have millions and millions of dollars of these Pokemon cards.
So, we're actually at that point now where we have a lot of these collectors that were purely into it for collecting, and they've got to this crossroad where it's like, "Should I start selling some of this stuff that I love, because it is worth so much money and it could actually change my life?"
So, actually I don't think that you need to be in the business mindset to succeed with it. It is a way to get to that road, that same road or that same path, but there's different ways to get to it. And I think purely on the collectible side, you can reach the same place.
I want to dive a little deeper into what you just said. Because now I'm wondering, if some of the cards I'm investing in right now end up being worth a ton of money later, I know this is different for everybody, but how do you approach the idea of selling versus keeping? Where's that line for you?
So for me, there are certain things I have in my collection that I just am not planning on selling at all, no matter what the price is.
No number could do it?
No number. If it's in the millions or whatever, it still would be something where I still would be happier with it. But you get to a certain point where, for example, something like a Pikachu illustrator, no matter what that value is, like say it's millions and millions of dollars or whatever, the collector has to know and has to realize that when they sell this piece, they're in a spot where they're most likely never going to get that again, that card, as one of the most historic pieces, most collectible and most sought-after pieces, and that's what it boils down to for that type of stuff.
Of course, there's a lot of different things in my collection that if it were to reach a certain number, I'd be happy to move it. I'd be happy to sell it and know that money, sometimes it can be life-changing for a lot of people. So, for some people, if it is life-changing, they'll sell it. If there's a certain thing that you want to achieve in your life and you know that you can get there by selling this thing that you cherish so much, they might sell it. But it's different for every collector, because there are guys I know that will never sell these pieces in their collection because it's a part of their identity. It's a part of their identity.
I mean, there is the one scenario with, I'm sure you saw it with Gary King Pokemon, where he had his Charizards, and he kept to that. He's had so many offers over the years, declining all the offers and just holding onto them. Until one day he was faced with that choice, that real choice where he was like, "You know what? If I sell this, it's going to go to a really good home." And I could see it definitely looked like it hurt. It definitely looked like it was taking a piece of his identity almost. And when he sold it, you could feel it. It's almost like you could feel it. It was a strange scenario, but I felt it. It was weird. It was like he sold this piece that he's ha probably most of his life. I mean, you could almost feel it like a piece of him.
So, that's what it is. That's a scenario where you can watch that on a video and you could see that. That's the same feeling that all these other collectors might have when they sell that piece from their collection.
Yeah. I mean, we're talking about Logan Paul, who has been in the news over the years for many, many different things. Most of it not so great. But he has definitely done something in the world of Pokemon with his recent attention to it. And he's the person who went to Gary and purchased this for $200,000 or something like that. And I saw it too. And you could see it in Gary's eyes. And I think that Gary also knew that this was done, not just for Logan Paul, but for the entire world of Pokemon. I think he knew what he was doing and knew that it was going to help everybody and more people get into it, which it definitely did.
And when Logan Paul did the live break and opened cards and all these things happen, and I mean, that's a part of the reason why I got back into it, was just because he made the spectacle and it made it look more fun and I got back into it. And then I found you and so many other people in this beautiful space.
And this speaks to the world of influencers. And whether you think you are or not, you are an influencer now in the positive sense, right? You have the ability to say, "Go get these cards." And people will get them. Or, "This card is worth something," and it can move the market literally now. How do you deal with that responsibility? What goes through your head when it comes to it? And I go through the same thing, if I say, "Hey, get this software product, it's going to help your business," people will get it. So, I have a vetting process for what I say and what I don't. But I'm curious, your thoughts on your responsibility now with such a large audience and I mean, honestly, a lot of young people who may spend money, right? So, how does that feel? What do you do?
So, when I first was jumping into it and I would bring up a product or something purely that I had in my collection that I wanted to show, or I would do a weekly series where once a week I'd show all the products that I purchased for my collection and I'd show them - and I didn't realize, because I was never in that mentality of what I'm saying can affect markets, can affect people on how they collect or what they collect and what they perceive as a certain value for a certain item. So, for a while, I actually really did not fully understand the extent of it. But then going back to what you said when Logan Paul entered Pokemon, if you go on search trends on Google and you type in Pokemon cards, I mean, the day he dropped that video, that he was in Pokemon, it's like this, stayed up there. I mean, it came down a bit, but it's still much, much higher right now than it has been.
So, that right there goes to show you that one person can have a massive effect on markets. And like you said, you jumped in, thousands and thousands of people jumped in from that sale that Gary had for Logan, because then that catapulted it, the rush to get the Charizard, the desire to get these rare cards, I mean, had a massive effect.
But day to day, the one thing that I know, and that I tend to think about mostly whenever I'm bringing up these Pokemon cards or specific cards, is that I know that when I say it, I purely, I have no sponsorship deals with any of these Pokemon or any of these other things, or any other reason than to say, "Oh, this is a cool product. First edition rocket, I purchased this." Or, "The dark Charizard in this set is worth X amount because I'm looking at the statistics on the market, and that's what it's going for." I'm looking at the now." And I don't - when people ask me questions like, "Oh, do you think this is going to be worth this in a year or two years? Or is it going to be worth less, more?" I tend to just stick to setting it as, "I really don't know. I have no idea what... I really don't. I have no idea if this card is going to be worth like, this, or if it's going to go like this, but I just can see what's happening right now." And that's what information I bring to the table.
So, purely, basically what I enjoy, what I'm collecting and what I see as things that people are picking up and just bring attention to what's happening on the market right now. But again, even doing that has an effect because it's bringing more attention to it.
I do think you're doing it very well, especially with the size audience you have. It never has ever felt like you were pushing anybody to do anything, really. It's just, "Here's what's happening. Here's what it is. And please make your own decisions." And that's it.
Whereas, I know there's other channels, which are like, "Yo, this is hot right now. Go get it." And it, it literally, like right now we're seeing this massive price increase with these full art trainers. And it's just ridiculous. And we know certain YouTubers that have had a hand in that and whatnot. But at the same time, it's again, it's whose fault is it really? I don't know.
There's so much psyche involved in this and we could talk for days about collecting and human psychology, and just the mob mentality, and all these sorts of things. But I'd love to get to know your business a little bit more. So, we know you open packs and people purchase these packs on your live streams, which is really cool. Can you share and reveal if you are comfortable, like other means by which you are generating an income. You don't have to express how much, but just what are all the avenues that you have to work with? And we'll start there.
Yeah. So, one thing I do want to say is, I don't know if your audience is aware or not, but I've been following you for about a decade now. And it's like this pretty crazy chain of events that got us to this moment in time that we've linked together.
It's pretty crazy because as a teenager and as a kid, I had always wanted to escape that 9 to 5, that office job that wasn't really what I wanted to do. So, I would go online and I would look up all these different ways to get passive income, right? So, all these different things. And I stumbled upon you. And I started looking at your website and checking out your monthly reports that you'd have on there and all these things, and affiliate marketing, and learning about all these different things.
So, whenever I think about a business, I think of all those different sources of income that can come from it. So, with the channel and with Pokemon, there are a lot of different streams of revenue, right? So, there's of course, the booster box openings, where we open up a booster box of packs. Most of the time, there's 36 in there. The packs gets sold and then that's a source of income.
Another source of income is grading cards and selling the cards. Because you can open packs and you can grade the cards. Basically, with grading cards is you send them out to a company. They grade on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the most valuable. And there's ways to do that, where you can send in, you can buy collections and you could send in cards to these grading companies. And when you get them back and they could be worth substantially more because of their conditions. And if you have a good eye for it, you can find these things. And you can hunt down these collections and you can send them out, and you can get them back. Right now, a lot of people aren't doing that because of how big the market's getting, how popular Pokemon is getting. And all of these companies are so backed up. If you send these cards out, it could take up to a year to get back or more.
So that's another source of revenue is the graded cards and selling those, and all the other products that come in. So, modern stuff that you get at distributor level, the newest product comes out. There's 10 different items for it. Putting stock in all those items up and selling all those items.
Another source of revenue would be, I have a membership on my YouTube channel where it's a monthly fee, but you have access to all these different perks. It's basically, you choose response to Twitch with the Twitch subscriptions, basically the same thing. You would pay a certain amount monthly to your creator, and the creator gets a certain percentage of that, which is actually, YouTube takes quite a lot.
Yeah. 30 percent I think. Right?
Yeah, 30 percent. Yeah. And then that's another stream right there. And then that ties into selling the packs as well. Then other revenue streams of course is going to be when you dive into YouTube. So, every time somebody watches a video, and they have an ad, you get paid a certain percentage for running the ads. So, there's ads.
Another thing is super chats. Again, YouTube's response to Twitch with the donation things. When people are watching live streams, sometimes they'll send a donation to support their creator that they're watching.
Yeah. It's all the different streams that allow me to be able to do this full time. All those together, they work out. Right? Because you don't want to depend on just the one. If you have one, if you're at the 9 to 5, you got your one income and that's it. But as the channel grows and as things grow, starting to get the different streams coming in. And that's the main reason that again, that I was able to just keep going with it and keep building it to be able to do it as a full-time thing.
You also forgot the hot sauce, the Zauce as it is. And it's interesting. Because I remember watching Gary V a while back on his channel, talking about how, I think it was BMW should make razors, right? These brands who have followers, who have fans, fanatics really, who will buy anything, who will buy a BMW razor or an Audi hairbrush or whatever. Right? And we see Tesla doing the same thing with their Tesla tequila and their short-shorts. And there's a Tesla surfboard that was sold back in the day that I missed out on. And it's like, "I really want that because I'm a fan of Tesla." And then here you are coming out with Zauce. And I'm probably one of the first to order it. And it's actually really good by the way. So, for those kinds of things, was that just another company you worked with that could white label the sauce, and you smack your label on it and sell it, because it's working, and I see people all the time talking about it. Is that how it works?
Yeah. So, basically like private label it or whatever you want to call it. But because I have experience, again, going back over the years of trying different things, and I would create different products over the years. So, I had experience with that. And I was like, you know what, I mean... It ties into the theme of the channel too. For people that do watch the channel, they know the Zauce, and all that stuff that we say. And it just clicked one day. And actually my buddy...
I created the image and I didn't know what I was going to use it for. And it was me with, I sent it out on one of those, I forget the website that runs a competition. And I said, "I want something that's maybe with me in it that has something to do with hot sauce or whatever." And then I got it. And I was like, I was going to put it on a shirt. And I was like, "It's pretty over the top for sure. And I don't know." And then my buddy was like, "Why don't you just have hot sauce? You say Zauce all the time." I was like-
Dude, so good.
And then I was like, and he knows if he tells me something and I say, I'm doing it, I'm like, I'm doing it. So, I did it. And we got them in it. It was really cool. But yeah, the merch and everything is another source too, that I forgot, of income.
For anybody listening, if you want to check out PokeRev, you can check him out on YouTube. Obviously, you can see what he's doing. You're very consistent with your work. And I do want to get into your work ethic and how you stay on top of things because you're going live, I don't know, five, six times a week. You're doing videos almost daily now. I know it's a lot of work. And I'd love to dig into that. But also, I would just recommend everybody listening to check it out. If anything, to get a feel for what a rabid community is like. And you coming in from the outside are going to come in and go, "What the heck is going on?" Just like you said earlier, people aren't going to understand anything. You're not going to know the words that are being said. You're not going to understand what is going on.
But that proves that it doesn't matter. You can create this tribe who follows you because you all speak the same language, right? And you all can come together and enjoy each other's company because everybody else in the outside doesn't get it. Right? And that's how I know why a lot of people come to you, is because they can't talk about these things with their friends or their family because they just don't get it. So, they come here into the community, they can talk to each other. And I've gotten to know people. I've gotten to know Jeff the Ref, and Blastoise 93, and Julio, and just so many great people in the community, especially the other mods that you've selected to keep the show running.
But it truly is something that, especially during these days, it's like, I thank you when you hit 200,000, because it definitely filled a hole of like, "Oh, I just haven't had that place to go and chill with the guys." Right? And talk about random things together. And here I am in the chat, opening Pokemon cards with you and everybody else. It's like, "Dude, thank you for that." Go into PokeRev, see what it's like, check out his live streams. It's ridiculous. It's awesome. It's entertainment.
And so, I'd love to ask you on that. I mean, you're alive for five, six hours at a time. You're opening packs. You're communicating. Tell me about how you get in the right mindset before you go live.
Traditionally, and I'm just going to call you out, you're a little bit late to your launches. You says it's going to start at 1:00. It starts at 1:04. And I'm just like, "That's okay, because actually it probably helps with the algorithm." But I'm like, "What's going through Rev's head right now?" Right before you go live, what do you say to yourself? So many people are scared to do that. So, what happens and goes through your head during that time?
Yeah. So, I don't have the stream starting soon thing that pops up. Don't need to get into all the reasons for that, but basically going into the little bit, but with the algorithm. Right? So, when I'm preparing to go live, it is getting into that mindset, clearing out everything. If anything is going on throughout the day, if you've got - something came up and trying to deal with that beforehand, clearing it all out, sitting down, putting the music on is a big thing. Putting on music, and it's the music that I have running throughout the stream, but I can hear it a lot louder in my headset. So, getting that going and just getting excited to open these packs up because I know everybody is going to be excited. So, me being excited as well for it, I feel like it definitely brings the vibe, pulls it in together.
Because there's all different content creators that have their own style. Some people just want to sit back and not say a word - and there's nothing wrong with any of the different styles - and just open up the packs. Me personally, I just really enjoy, really getting into it. So yeah. Other than that, just getting excited to open up the packs because actually, I truly enjoy opening them up. Even if we are going for five or six hours, it's still always fun, because I know when I'm opening up somebody's packs, they're literally sitting there on the edge of their seat, waiting for their name to get called. And some of these people wait weeks, more than a month, some people wait.
So, I want to make sure every single person that gets their packs opened up has that experience of being a part of it. If I'm slacking even a little bit on people for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, that to me is... it doesn't feel right because it's almost like you want to make sure everybody is treated the same and fairly, and equally throughout it. So, that's another reason. But I think I hit most of what I dobefore.
Thank you for that. I now know you're just hyping yourself up, which I definitely think is important. And you might hate me for this, but I'm going to also encourage everybody to watch your first videos, because, and this is for any... You go to any successful YouTuber, if they've kept their archive, I mean, it's such an inspirational place to be because they have no idea what they're doing.
And if you go to MKBHD, one of the top tech reviewers here, his first a hundred videos were for his first a hundred subscribers. You go to MrBeast, there's just the worst quality. He's using his phone's microphone. I mean, it's not great. And look where he is now.
And I remember you shared a video when you hit 200,000, it was like, I don't remember the title, but it was just basically a quick account of where you started to where you are now. And very clear difference between your first early videos, where you literally say, "I have no idea what I'm doing." And the camera angle is weird, the lighting is off and stuff. At what point in the journey did you feel that you finally got your groove?
I feel like I finally got my groove after about a month of when I started the live streaming. So, I think I started live streaming maybe three or four months into the channel, maybe three months in. So, I would say probably like three to four months is when I really started feeling my groove. And it was really only because I started doing the live streams. They just loosen you up. I mean, it's just no other way to put it. It's like, I encourage people to try live streams. A lot of people are very hesitant because they're afraid of what they're going to say, how they're going to say it, if they're going to mess up, what people are going to say during the live. But really it's like you get thrown in and you come out a thousand times better because you're interacting one-on-one with people.
Before when I started, I would record. And I just couldn't feel, or know exactly what the people were thinking or saying on the other side of the camera. Recorded videos are amazing as well, obviously because of how you can cut them up and how you can make them really fun, and way more like dialed-in than a live, with no downtime or any slowdown moments on there.
But the live stream is just something that it does when you have people, you see people are watching you and they're interacting back with you, and they're laughing back with you. It's almost like you're sitting there now instead of just talking to the camera, and now you're talking to hundreds or thousands of people, and they're responding back to you. And it's like you're hanging out. So, you loosen up naturally. And it was just doing that consistently got me a million times better on camera. And then the behind the scenes stuff of just implementing these little upgrades.
My goal was every streamer, every video was improved on at least one thing. It doesn't matter what it was, audio quality, video quality, lighting, setup, just one thing. Because a lot of people get overwhelmed. I was super overwhelmed beginning. I'm like, "Oh my gosh, what am I going to... How's the lights go? How does this go? How am I going to do this? How am I going to do that?" The editing, so many things.
So, I took a step back and I was like, "Okay, I'm going to do the most basic setup and just improve it one little thing every time." You do that for months, weeks, or a year, and you've improved on so many things throughout that time.
That's such great advice. Thank you for that. I think we, especially as entrepreneurs and us who have squirrel syndrome, we're trying to do all the things, we often over-complicate. And I think just taking small micro improvements every time is such great advice. We definitely need to do that. Very similar to what James Clear says in his book, Atomic Habits, like small incremental improvements mean so much, and they can compound. And I think, I definitely think that's great.
You always comment when I see a comment like this on your channel. The comments that you really pause at and you pay attention to are when people say, "Hey, Rev, I'm here with my kid. We're watching the channel together." What does that mean to you? Because you always seem to pause and just reflect on that. I'm curious what's going through your head or what you're feeling when people say that to you, they're there with their kids and they're watching you and they're hanging out together. And it's like, you're providing that entertainment and making them happy.
It's almost like realizing almost like a dream coming to reality. Because most of my life, I actually really did want to be a content creator, specifically on YouTube. And I remember when YouTube started picking up and it was a brand new thing. And I was probably, I think I was a freshmen in high school, and I just started seeing these normal people becoming content creators. And people were watching them and really watching them. And then it just kept going and picking up momentum. And I almost thought to myself like, "I feel like all these people are, they're just, they're normal people, but they're taking that risk, that shot, and just putting themselves out there and doing it."
And so, I had always thought like, "Wow, how crazy would it be if I could bring something like entertainment or even just a way for families or groups of friends or whatever, to sit down and gather, and bond." What's crazy to me is thinking that I am helping create memories for families. So, like a father or parents and their kids or a father and a daughter and a son, it's crazy to think that one day they might be like, "Oh, I remember when we used to watch Pokemon openings all the time and open up the packs. I remember that as a kid." And then they're older now. And it's crazy to think about how you can impact people's lives. And that's cool that you picked up on that because I really, I see that and I'm just like, "Wow." I'm so happy that I could actually do that, to provide that to somebody.
Yeah. And thank you personally, from my family to yours. I mean, I've commented the same thing. And you'd go, "Yo, Pat, dude. Hey kids, welcome. Thanks for watching." And I'm just like, they get so stoked, right? They're jumping around, "Rev said, hi." It's amazing. And they get stoked. You are doing just that, dude. You are creating memories and that's super cool. And this is what happens when you show up consistently. I see the same people in the chats every single time. People have now have a routine watching you and listening to you. And that's incredible.
The final point I want to make before we finish up - and again, thank you for this. It's inspirational. You've inspired also many people to create their own channels now, in a very similar way that you were inspired by others. You've inspired me to create my channel at Deep Pocket Monster, and that's been such a fun ride. And I've been just enjoying life so much more having the push to then create a channel about something, not about business. Not that I hate business at all, I love it, but just something different, something to give me another flavor of life. And thank you for that, truly.
I know that the case for many entrepreneurs is the fact that they're not successful all by themselves. There's always other people involved. There's always other friends, even competitors even that they partner with or hang out with, or what have you. Might you be able to share two or three people who have helped you get to where you're at today in some way shape or form?
Yeah. Well, definitely my parents, because they always would push for me to try to further myself. I mean, always just saying, "You can do it." Just building confidence up for myself, which I feel like if they weren't like that, then I'd be far less likely to be doing these things and trying these things. Because if you're a kid and you constantly have your parents or your guardians saying, "Oh, you did a really good job." It actually has a really big impact on people and kids growing up. So, I always had that as like my family just saying, "Hey, you can do it. Oh, great job. Keep trying and keep trying." So, I just started falling into this mentality of like, "I can do it if I keep trying." So, that's my parents right there.
Trying to think, over the years, it's a lot of the successful business people as well, seeing what they have achieved. Again, going back I've really borrowed a lot of your stuff for many years, so you as well, Pat have definitely had a big impact on me.
Thank you. Honestly, stepping back, it's so trippy that when I found you and I was becoming a fan of you, you told me that you would actually listen to me back in the day. The world is so crazy like that, like the fact that that happened. And so, you're saying you're getting inspiration from a lot of others, who've perhaps paved the way in a different way. And then you've been able to create your own path kind of thing?
Yeah. Just doing different things. Another, I don't know if you've... Chris Green is another gentleman that I read his books and stuff. And he was really into, he still is, in getting big on Amazon. Because that was one of the big things that helped me throughout the years too, is I had got on Amazon and started creating my own products and buying and selling, and retail arbitrage, all that stuff. So, that was a big one to read that and think a lot more about. I think a lot of people read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That one I read too. And just always researching online and just reading as much as I can. I feel like I've gotten a lot of information from a lot of different people.
Awesome. And finally, to continue that, I know that you have this beautiful family, a couple of amazing kids and a wife. And how do you manage your business and family, keep things balanced? I know you're a big family man, just like myself. So, what do you put into place being an online entrepreneur where literally you could work all the time if you wanted to? How do you turn off your work so you can turn on with your family?
That's one of the biggest challenges I face, honestly. And the balance has definitely been getting out of... in the wrong direction that I want to be at. So, I want to bring that back into more of a balance. Because with the growth of the channel and all these different things I'm trying to implement, one of the most important things is figuring out the best way to do something so you don't spend as much time on it. So, as I grow the channel and all these different new ways of going about things, I implement ways to make things much easier and much quicker. And I'm still in the process of doing that right now, just putting things into place that streamline things much better for you, I think is very important. Streamlining things is like incredibly important.
I agree in that, I think you've done the first thing right, which is just knowing that it's getting maybe a little bit out of balance. And that's the first step always, is just noticing that. And that way it doesn't get too far to one side or the other. And I'm still dealing with that as well, 12 years into entrepreneurship. It's an ongoing battle and there's always a new things. There's always new opportunities. It's the ongoing paradigm of entrepreneurship.
And I'm just very grateful that you spent some time with us today to be very honest, to also inspire. And again, everybody should check out PokeRev, P-O-K-E-R-E-V on YouTube. And you also have the PokeCave.com, if everybody wants to see your sort of ecommerce site and where things happen there. It's just a crazy world that many people probably have no idea what's like. And I think going in there, you get a sense of what it's like to be somebody who actually cares for a large community and how they're able to still manage it really well. I think you do a fantastic job of it.
And I'm looking forward to all the next content that you come out with. I'll be there in the lives. I'll be supporting the chat. And anybody from the PokeCave who's listening to this, thank you for taking the time. And any final pieces of advice for the creators out there who might not be at a quarter million subscribers yet, they're just getting started. What would you tell them before we finish up today?
I would say really quickly, consistency, whether it's one video a week or five a week, but not pushing yourself too far. Be consistent, do what you can without going over the top and burning out. You don't want to burn out. So, be consistent, try to be engaged, do stuff that is completely... Try to be as unique as possible. Don't do what every single other person is doing, because you won't be able to grow in the way that you are envisioning. So, do things that are unique. Do things not only that are unique, but people truly enjoy watching. And make sure you're truly enjoying it.
Be yourself above all things, be yourself. Don't try to be somebody that you're not because you're not going to enjoy it and you're just going to get deeper into that mentality of not being yourself. And it's not going to be good. So, be yourself. Make sure you're having fun with it. And I mean, at the end of the day, you could go much further than you ever could have imagined.
I mean, I'll be honest with you, especially growing up, I would have never imagined that I'd be on your podcast, Pat. So, I appreciate you having me on. And if I looked back and I was talking to myself 10 years ago, I would've been like, "Yeah. Right." But here we are.
Dude and here you are a man. And it's well-deserved. I appreciate you so much, PokeRev on YouTube. And keep on going, man. You're inspiring a lot of people, myself included. Thank you.
Thanks man. Thanks for having me on.
All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Nick. And Nick, thank you so, so much for your honesty, your vulnerability, and just giving us some insight on how you do what you do. It's very inspiring to me as a YouTuber, not just a YouTuber in the Pokemon space, but just a YouTuber in general, and to see what you've done with this community. Again, thousands of people live.
In fact, I was on a live stream of yours just a couple of weeks ago in fact, that had over 10,000 people, literally watching live. And as a moderator in there, of course, I'm in there and I'm smashing all the spam and getting it out of the way and making sure everything's clean. And then I discovered that there was a person who was participating in your pack opening who was from Germany, and his audience was watching on Twitch, and his audience had over a hundred thousand people watching live. So, you had over 110,000 people. And who knows who else around the world was also streaming this on Twitch. It's huge, man.
And I'm just very stoked to see that Smart Passive Income and the podcast was just even just a little bit of your story in the very beginnings, and how you've taken this passion of yours and turned it into something great. And to give you all a little bit of an update, these pack openings that Rev has done, he's actually recently decided to stop them. He was very honest and very open with this on his YouTube channel recently about how it was just taking up so much time and how it was getting into a lot of family time.
And what I love about Nick as well is he's very much a family person, just like I am, very humble as well. And he was just, "You know what, guys? This is taking over my life. I can't do this anymore in the way that it was going to be done. So, we're going to do it a little differently." And he was very upfront and even got the audience involved in the decision making process. And everybody is so supportive. And I think that's a great demonstration of what got you here won't get you there. It's a great demonstration of what we all experience when we grow a business, growing pains is as sometimes it's called. And you handled it with grace. And it's just been a good example for everybody.
So, thank you so, so much Nick, for coming on the show. Thank you everybody for listening through and getting the update. Make sure to check out the upcoming episode this Friday. We have these Friday follow-up episodes. I'm going to talk a little bit more in depth and give you even a more up-to-date look at what's been happening on my own channel in the space and how I'm taking a passion that I have, and doing it in a way where I'm trying to balance it out and also create something new in this space. The growth has been pretty tremendous as well. I can't wait to share it with you.
But again, you can listen to episode 464 if you want to listen to the start of that brand new channel for me. And again, check out PokeRev on YouTube, P-O-K-E-R-E-V. Very family-friendly, very, very fun to watch. Very, very out of this world, if you've never been in this world before. And it's all free. It's really fun. So, PokeRev, P-O-K-E-R-E-V. Thank you for listening. I appreciate you. And looking forward to the next one. We'll see you Friday or next week. Cheers, take care, and as always, Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com!
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