One of the things I really enjoy doing when I am not sailing is watching one of my favorite YouTube channels—Sailing SV Delos. Watching from the beginning, as these two Americans documented their sailing journey around the world, I have always taken notice of the challenges they face and the positivity they maintain as they tackle those challenges. It helps me to get excited about my next sailing adventure.
Now, you may wonder what a YouTube sailing channel has to do with Prepare to Tack and changing your career. YouTube, per say doesn’t have anything to do with it, but the people and their story actually have quite a bit to do with many of the things I share with you on how to create a career you’re passionate about.
Rewind to 6 years ago…
You see, it all started around six years ago when Delos started posting videos on YouTube. These videos were a way for Brian, the owner and captain of Delos, to show family and friends his sailing adventures with his brother, Brady, and friends. Simply put, the videos were home movies of their sailing journey.
They were normal people—like you and me…
Please, don’t roll your eyes and assume that they were trust fund babies or that Brian was given the nice Amel sailing yacht that they now call home.
Brian left the corporate world, sold everything, and utilized the technical skills he had to freelance remotely on the boat. Starting out in their sailing adventure, Brian was constantly on the search for wifi in order to maintain his freelance business. When possible, he and his brother would pick up jobs in port as they could. Tending bars, working as restaurant cooks, all to continue feeding the cruising kitty, pay the boat loan (which he is still paying on), and sail on to the next port.
But one day, something started to change. A family member brought it to Brian’s attention that they were getting a large number of subscribers and people watching, liking, and sharing their videos on YouTube. The Delos crew didn’t even realize that their videos were becoming so popular—they were in disbelief!
Once they realized that people were getting value from their videos, they started focusing more time and effort in making and publishing their videos.
Adding the “Buy Us A Beer” donation button, and eventually creating a Patreon page helped them transform their passion and dream into a career for themselves.
SV Delos is a Thriving Business…
Today, SV Delos is approaching close to 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and some of their videos have surpassed 3 million views. Believe it or not, people all over the world are finding value and are benefiting from their videos. These people are showing their support by contributing monetarily to SV Delos.
Brian and Brady no longer need to scrounge for jobs in port. Brian doesn’t have to freelance anymore. SV Delos is their business, the Buddha emblem on their headsail is their logo, sailing adventures and dreams are their products, and each crewmember aboard Delos is a team player or entrepreneur in the venture.
Now, SV Delos is not the only young sailing crew on YouTube to experience this kind of success.
Step back in time—2 years ago…
Only a couple of years ago, the young Australian couple aboard Sailing La Vagabonde started publishing home movies of their own sailing adventure on YouTube.
Much like Delos, La Vagabonde simply published the videos as a way for their family and friends to see the adventures they were experiencing as they explored the Mediterranean on their sailboat.
They weren’t rich either…
Neither Riley nor Elayna were rich or wealthy. Riley worked on oil rigs for months at a time and after a bad accident he decided to take his savings, purchase a sailboat, and teach himself how to sail. He literally had only raised a mainsail two times before he purchased the boat!
Elayna was a struggling artist, using her beautiful voice to score jobs on cruise ships and even did some busking on the streets with her guitar early on in their sailing adventure when they needed to refund the sailing kitty. After meeting Riley in Greece, she joined him on La Vagabonde and her video skills, desire to share their journey with family and friends, along with a video camera Riley had lying around the boat, are the reasons they ever published their first video on YouTube.
Today, after 100+ videos and 31,000+ nautical miles under their belts…
Today, La Vagabonde is not far from 300,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel and they are ranking over 2 million views on some of their videos.
Much like Delos, they noticed the climbing numbers on their channel and decided to focus more time on creating videos about their adventures. As a matter of fact, they have built such a valuable brand that they recently landed a deal with Outremer Catamarans.
As of a few weeks ago, Riley and Elayna have moved into their brand new Outremer catamaran, La Vagabonde II.
How did they do it?
With the deal they struck with Outremer in addition to one thousand plus Patreon supporters, this young couple has created their own career venture from their sailing journey.
La Vagabonde is their business, their sailing adventures and life lessons are their product, their brand is the emblem of a nautical wheel which emcompasses an outline of Elayna and Riley, and they are the entrepreneurs.
The amazing thing about both of these stories is the way they started…
Neither Delos nor La Vagabonde envisioned that their simple home movies would turn into successful businesses, or even something that people all over the world would want to watch and support. But once they realized the value and started focusing on content and quality, they discovered that they were on to something.
The simple fact that a large catamaran producer was willing to cut a deal with La Vagabonde is a huge testament to the success of their YouTube Channel. In fact, when you go to Outremer’s website today, you will see on the very front page a photo of Riley and Elayna.
Outremer knew that by tapping into this market with such a successful YouTube channel, they were making huge strides from a marketing standpoint. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this video where Stewart from Luckyfish outlines the analytics.
And I don’t think that this is the last we will see of this kind of marketing strategy. Just over a couple of weeks ago, the crew from SV Delos was visiting and touring the Amel production facility in France—even getting the opportunity to test out a brand new Amel 55. Will we see Amel and Delos partner together to build a marketing strategy?
What’s my point?
Now, the point of this post is not to focus on sailing, even though it does. This same thing can happen for anything—not only sailing. As a matter of fact, you see many other YouTubers out there today with sponsors or affiliate partners.
The take away here is to think outside of the box. A career doesn’t have to be something where you go into an office every day and sit at a desk. It can be so many different things—the possibilities are endless!
The key is to get started with something you are passionate about. Don’t quit your job yet—just get started with what you enjoy doing and see where it goes. Who knows, maybe your passion will lead you down a successful road, allowing you to leave your job behind and focus on what you love doing.
Do you know of someone who has a career that is outside of the norm? If so, share this along with your thoughts in the comments below.