10 Things I Learned From Casey Neistat’s Daily Vlog
Recently Casey Neistat started a daily vlog. When I first heard he was doing it I thought it would be a simple “this is my day” kind of video blog. Making a film every day is a big deal. It takes me a lot of work just to upload photos to my various social media accounts and business accounts. I can’t imagine the work that goes into producing a short film every single day for 50 days.
But that’s what Casey has managed to do. Today was his 50th episode of the vlog. Check out episode 50, in case you’re curious about what I’m describing.
I’ve watched all 50. It’s a habit I’ve picked up with my breakfast. Sit down with my cup of tea, toast and Casey’s latest film. It’s an easy ten minutes every day.
I appreciate the effort that it takes for Casey to put together his work and to do it so incredibly well. I started to give some thought to why I’ve watched Casey’s vlog so consistently when I’ve stopped watching others like Garyvee’s “Ask Gary Vee”.
Here are ten things that I’ve learned or been reminded of by watching Casey Neistat’s daily vlog.
1. Just fucking do it
Casey does things that are simple when you’re watching him do them but in practice are pretty impressive habits to form or things to do. He exercises a lot. He rides his bike through New York. He travels and builds businesses. There are never excuses that we’re shown. If he fucks up, he tells you and if he wants to work more he does. Just do the things you want to do and stop making excuses.
2. Every shot matters
Here’s the scene in his latest vlog immediately after the opening title scene:
He could have filmed that scene anywhere. In his office, in his house, walking down a street, anywhere. But he went to the effort to make this particular opening shot count. It looks great. The details matter and people will actually take note.
3. Perfection doesn’t matter
For me Snapchat has ushered in a different way of thinking about content. Content does not need to be perfect on Snapchat because it’s going to disappear in 24 hours and people aren’t looking for perfection.
It’s important to know what you’re doing and why but it doesn’t have to be perfect. The best things very rarely are perfect.
Casey often messes up, stumbles over words, slips, slams doors, cuts open packages that end up cutting through his products. Whatever. Push on.
4. Consistency is everything
Doing anything for 50 days in a row is a challenge. Making a film every day for 50 days is incredible but doing it so repetitively has definitely seen the videos flow, the shots get better, the narrative improve and the story become something.
Be consistent. If you say you’re going to do something every day, do it ever day.
5. Variety is pretty important
It’s easy to sit in your office and assume that everyone is going to just want to listen to your incredible words of wisdom. But sometimes you need to move around. Sometimes it’s important to chat to different people, engage with different environments and experience different things.
There can also be consistency built into your variety. Be consistently on the lookout for unique places to meet, interesting people to talk to and different ways of looking at the world.
6. Routine, routine, routine
Almost every great thinker in the past 200 years has had a very specific routine. Casey is no different and it’s good to remember that you’re not trapped by your routine, it enables you in your goals. Watch Casey talk about his routine.
7. Don’t talk down to people
I like that Casey talks directly to people on their level but not down to them. This is key. I’ve had the honour of meeting Nelson Mandela numerous times in my life and every time the thing that struck me is how comfortable I felt around him. He never spoke down to me but always spoke on my level. Casey’s vlogs manage to achieve the same thing. He does a lot, has achieved a lot and talks about the things he does all the time but I never feel like he’s being an asshole.
8. Tell a great story
Very often the stories that Casey finds or creates are great stories to tell. The scariest day of his life, marriage confessions and more. It’s important to tell a good or great story. Make sure that you’re not talking to people about the weather. Everyone can do that. Find a great story and tell it. Very often it doesn’t even matter if the way you tell your story isn’t perfect, as long as it’s a great story.
9. OR tell a story well
Sometimes though, it’s tough to find a great story to tell. In this case I’ve noticed that Casey finds great timelapses, soundtracks, people or poses to use in his vlogs. He tells a story, any store and he does exceptionally well. Often you can visually illustrate a normal story in an incredible way with fantastic imagery.
Tell a great story, or tell a story well.
10. Take time to appreciate the view
Sometimes it’s important to ignore the noise, the emails, phonecalls, family, work, meetings or whatever else is distracting you and just enjoy the view.