Don’t give up, do what you love, be inspired, and tell a story along the way. That is what I learned from Valentí Sanjuan. Describing him is difficult. He is a journalist, traveler, influencer, YouTuber, and much more. Simply put, he does what he wants and films it. There are no limits when it comes to Valentí. His success story is rare and inspiring.
When Valentí started, he was working at a radio show in Spain as a journalist. He was comfortable. Eight years at the company and one day they decided not to renew Valentí’s contract. The economic crisis taking place in Spain at the time caused many people to lose their jobs. The unemployment rate increased rapidly. Valentí was left with no job and no expectations of finding one. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do next.
Valentí decided to make his own show. With the help of a few friends, he got started. Valentí began networking to invite well-known guests on his show. He reached out to those who he worked with at the radio show. Many important people in Spain agreed to be guests. This was useful for the show. The popular guests brought more people to watch Valentí’s show.
Unfortunately, only 100 people tuned in to watch his first show. This was disappointing for Valentí and those who worked on it. The next show, only ten people came to the show to watch it live. Fifty people streamed from the Internet to watch. Valentí noticed something. More people were watching from the outside on the Internet than from the live audience. This gave him an idea.
Don’t Give Up
Valentí decided to create a show on the Internet. In the first three months, he started with nothing. He didn’t have any sponsors or any money to help him. It was very hard in the beginning. He needed more viewers to keep the show running. Valentí noticed the problem. He was doing the same thing as he was before. His shows were very similar. He needed to do something different.
Visto lo Visto was then created. This show began by shooting behind a market in Spain. It was very simple concept. Valentí gathered a few of his contacts to be guests on the show. People sat and talked in front of the camera. He streamed the show through the Internet.
Visto lo Visto continued to grow in size. Now, it is being filmed in a theatre in Spain. Still, it is being streamed through the Internet by Valentí. He records one show per month. Usually, there are 700 people in the audience and 2 million viewers online.
Do What You Love
Soon, Valentí realized all of that isn’t necessary. All one really needs is a camera and oneself to make a show. He began filming himself doing different activities. Then, he would post it on the Internet. He now has around 12 million viewers on his personal YouTube channel.
Valentí noticed something important. It doesn’t matter if you are on television. It matters how good the content is. If you have good content, it will sell itself.
Valentí started hiring YouTubers to contribute to his show. This brought in a younger audience. Those watching the show were around 13 and 14 years old.
At one point, he wanted to change his demographic. Since he was popular enough, he was able to do this by changing his content. It was difficult. He wanted to change his audience without upsetting his old audience members. By doing this, Valentí went from 2 million viewers a month to only 200. This was another disappointment.
Valentí started to make content he enjoyed. Videos of himself doing adventurous activities and exploring a new city. Turns out, people liked watching it. He made the videos for himself and would continue to post the content online.
A few years ago, Valentí’s mother passed away. On the anniversary of her death, he was inspired to make a video. He ran 1.500 km from Barcelona to northern Spain.
Taking a hardship in life and turning it into a celebration, is inspiring. The video is sentimental and caught the attention of many viewers on the Internet.
Valentí is inspirational for others. Those that follow his Instagram will see inspiring captions to his photographs. He influences people to do what they love.
Tell a Story
Brands from all over the world get in touch with Valentí to make a video for them. They pay him to share his content with his viewers. Sponsors pay him to use and advertise their products in this videos.
Valentí is still a journalist. He is telling a story through his videos and selling a product. The difference is, he is much happier now. If the radio show would have never let him go, he would have never found his passion. Everything happens for a reason. Valentí is doing what he loves and found success from that. In the end, he became not only a journalist, but an influencer.
Success: From the Streets to the Grammy’s
The four things I learned from Valentí reminded me of another rare success story. Ed Sheeran‘s story is a bit more known by the mainstream. Ed Sheeran has also showed those four things.
From Haliflax, England, Ed Sheeran began playing the guitar at a young age. Ed was kicked out of his home at the age of 16. He told his parents he would rather play music than go to a university. He had no other option but to sleep on the street or random couches for the next few years. He didn’t give up.
Ed continued playing his music on the streets. He played in local pubs and built a fan base. Ed began uploading his performances to the Internet. This is where he gained most of his fans. Once he gained a big enough following in Europe, Ed moved to the United States with the money he earned from gigs. He practiced whenever he had the chance and played everywhere he could. He did what he loved.
Above is one of Ed Sheeran’s first videos he uploaded to YouTube.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – Ed Sheeran
Ed was a rare success story. With the help of Internet, his songs reached number one on iTunes before he even had a record deal. Four years after moving out of his home, he won two Brit awards. He went street performing to playing at the Grammy’s in just a few years. He was an inspiration.
He is known to be one of the best singer/song writers of our time. His lyrics are profound. Ed songs are real occurrences about his life. He tells a story.
If Ed Sheeran would have never followed his dreams, he probably would have ended up at a university. Once again, everything happens for a reason. Both Ed and Valentī used the Internet to build a fan base and market themselves. Similar to Valentí, Ed is an influencer. Not giving up, doing what you love, finding inspiration, and telling a story are all key elements to be successful in life. That is what I learned from Valentií and Ed.