Being an entrepreneur in the social media industry is a pretty tough gig, and few people know that better than our latest guests on the What’s Trending Podcast. Our CEO and founder Shira Lazar sat down with MooshWalks founder Olga Kay and YouTube star R.J. Aguiar to compare notes on how they play the game.
These days it’s not enough to have a big following on YouTube or Instagram — now the biggest influencers are making movies or launching their own businesses on top of making daily content. “No matter if you’re young or old, I think people are inspired to do their own things these days,” Shira said.
Olga, for example, has been working on expanding on her popular MooshWalks company for the last seven or eight months.
“I discovered that entrepreneurial business is my world, but I love being creative. I feel like I have this perfect system, where I have a show on YouTube that takes me three days to record and it will be content for the whole month… And then I get to actually focus on the business. I thought building a YouTube audience was really hard, but building a business is like going up a vertical hill. But I love it.”
Shira and Olga talked about getting advice from business leader Mark Cuban, co-founder of Broadcast.com and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, saying he recognized the same drive to succeed in both of them. “He told me, ‘Keep hustling,’ which tells me I’m doing something right — I just need to do more of that,” Olga said.
Meanwhile R.J. keeps building his brand on YouTube, making videos and daily vlogs, and now working as a What’s Trending host which offers a nice change of pace. “In this kind of space, I’m used to having to be airtight and really well rehearsed. So it’s nice to come in to What's Trending in the morning, after I’ve had my several cups of coffee, to start spitballing with everybody. And then based on what we’re already talking about the most, it’s like ‘Okay good, we’re onto something here.’”
Despite all the content he’s putting out, R.J. still has to deal with the challenges of YouTube’s new algorithm, which could potentially hide his latest videos from his subscribers.
“It makes it a little bit tougher. People don’t always necessarily have the time to watch every single day — not because they’re not interested in your stuff, but because they’ve got lives. In their minds it’s like ‘I can skip a few days and then catch up,’ but then YouTube looks at that and says ‘Oh, they’re skipping four videos in a row, they don’t want to see the videos anymore,’ and nixes our channel from their feed. It’s an uphill battle to be constantly re-reminding people, ‘By the way, we’re still here posting videos!”
At the same time, he’s also planning a wedding with his longtime partner Will Shepherd. “We’re approaching almost the one month mark. It is so stressful. Here’s the thing: they told me, ‘Planning a wedding, that’s the true test of your relationship. If you can survive that, you can survive marriage.’”
It turned out that advice was more on point than he thought. “Going into it, Will and I agreed on everything. It’s everybody else that’s lost their minds — all the vendors that are trying to nickel and dime you to death, and your relatives that have all these opinions about stuff. It’s just a lot to handle.”
As usual, Shira, Olga and R.J. also took some time to discuss the trending stories of the last week, including the EgyptAir passenger who snapped a selfie with a hijacker, Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski posing topless, and Jessica Lowndes pretending to be engaged to Jon Lovitz to promote her new music video.