We are are here today to discuss the concept of minimalism defined as:
Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. … For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions. – Christopher Murray
Today on the show we have minimalist Matt D’Avella. Matt directed an amazing documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. He has also built a massive fanbase of over 3 million followers interested in minimalism on YouTube.
The film examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.
In so many ways we are binging on all the wrong things and dying of hunger for the things that really matter. We as a society need to stop looking outward for happiness and being to look inward. Material things won’t make you happy. Did chasing and sacrificing your precious time and energy trying to obtain “stuff” make you truly happy while you were here? If you die tomorrow does ANY of the material stuff you have matter at all?
Matt also directed the new Netflix series The Minimalists: Less Is Now. The series is about how minimalism movement founders and longtime friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus share how people’s lives can be better with less stuff.
Matt and I discuss the power of decluttering your life, using minimalism to help you focus on the important stuff and how material things become owners of us and not the other way around.
Beware, this conversation might change the way you look at your life. Enjoy!
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 003
Alex Ferrari 0:00
I'd like to welcome to the show, Matt development. Thank you so much for being on the show, brother.
Matt D'Avella 0:05
Alex. Thanks for having me. Dude excited to connect with you again, man. It's been a little while. Yeah, man,
Alex Ferrari 0:09
it has been. It's been a minute. I mean, when you when I first when you when you had me on your podcast in 26 1716
Matt D'Avella 0:20
probably. We're probably 2017 very early on. Yeah. Right. Exactly. I
Alex Ferrari 0:24
came to your, to your to your house. And we, we recorded it, by the way, still one of the best interviews I've had, and I've abused that video everywhere, as you've noticed. I love it. It was It was great. It was a great interview. And, and you had just literally gotten off the boat from New York, like you'd like Fresh Off the Boat.
Matt D'Avella 0:45
Yeah, that was a fresh start for my now wife and I we, you know, it was mostly a personal decision. It wasn't let's move out to LA to be closer to the film industry. I had an established freelance career at that time, and I was moving into doing more original content. For us. It was more so my wife's from Sydney, Australia. So to be able to visit family you know, it's 23 hour flight from New York is kind of rough. So we got the direct flight from LA and it's a lot easier now to see family but that said it's certainly been great just to be in LA there's so many creative people that I've gotten the chance to connect with. So definitely rivals New York in terms of the creative energy for sure.
Alex Ferrari 1:29
Yeah, with up I just literally got back from New York. I was visiting there on vacation and it is such a different energy man. Oh my God is so I was right in the middle of Midtown. Oh, guy I was staying in town for like for like four or five days. I was just like,
Matt D'Avella 1:43
get to you after a little while for sure.
Alex Ferrari 1:45
It just like like you you walk out at like 7am to go to Gregory's to pick up some coffee. And all of a sudden you just like boom, like is it noon is like what is going on? There's so much action going on? Like that. Yeah, the city does not sleep. Well. La is just chilled much more. Right?
Matt D'Avella 2:03
Well, we lived in West Hollywood. So it was a little bit busier. But definitely not close to New York. And then recently, three months ago, we moved to closer to the beach. So now we're really la live. And it's very chill. I mean, it's there's not as much chaos. So for us, we're finding some some stillness and quiet here, which has been great.
Alex Ferrari 2:22
And I'm in the valley. So you know, we're nice and quiet over here as well. For sure.
Matt D'Avella 2:26
I love it. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 2:28
Nice. Now, where I first saw you was the documentary minimalism. Because I was just scanning through Netflix. I was like, oh, minimalism, I want to be a minimalist is I have too much crap in my life. I know to watch this documentary. And I watched and I love the documentary. And that's one when you're I think I forgot who connected us. It was a mutual friend. Who gave me a web met web. Yes. Yes, Matt. Matt connected us. And he's like, hey, do you know the guys who made minimal I'm like, I don't I would love to be on his podcast, I think that would be awesome to talk minimalism. In and that
Matt D'Avella 3:02
was very, very kind of you to come on the show, because I had probably 50 downloads an episode at the time. And it was definitely one of my favorite episodes early on that, you know, you brought out you you just you have so much experience both in like the industry and also in the independent stuff. So I learned a lot and you helped me create a bunch of really great little teasers that we got to share around on it's
Alex Ferrari 3:25
always helpful, dude, it was my absolute pleasure. And now the the, the foot is on the other shoe, as they say, because you now have a massive audience, which we will talk about later. But let's get back into minimalism. So tell me about minimalism. How did it come about? And and first of all, what is the definition of minimalism by itself and then we'll get into the movie.
Matt D'Avella 3:48
So minimalism is a lifestyle that helps us figure out what's most important in life. It often starts with the things the stuff that you know, of course, most American homes have a lot of clutter. We've got attics and basements and sheds filled with stuff. I certainly
Alex Ferrari 4:04
know storage companies, like that's
Matt D'Avella 4:08
the multibillion dollar industry, right? And our houses are what like 3050 times bigger than they were in the 40s. And now we have soared so much stuff that we need to throw them in storage lockers. So I think minimalism, addressed that problem in a big way for a lot of people. And it started with decluttering. And like, let's just clear out the stuff that we don't value don't care about don't look at don't notice anymore, and just curate a set of things that we really love and we really value and we want to take care of and focus on. But then of course by getting rid of this stuff, it also allows us much more time to focus on the important things what we want to get out of life. Ask me some deeper questions about where we want to take our lives. What do we want to do? Who are the people that we want to spend our time with? So I think that was probably the biggest thing for me when it came to minimalism and Probably it was just after I graduated college that I found out about it for myself. Of course, it's not a new idea. But there's this resurgence of the idea of many more people talking about it now. And minimalism helped me to version redefine what my idea of success was, both as a filmmaker as a creative, you know, monetarily, I just thought I had to get to a certain place. In order to be happy, I needed to have all the stuff, I need to have a nice car, I need to have a really nice house. And all these things are tech gadgets that I thought I needed to be successful and to feel successful. And then I just realized that after discovering that I had enough to be content, I had enough to be happy with where my life was at. Sure, I was still ambitious. And I still wanted to make films and I wanted to be driven creatively. And I, you know, I still had these things that I wanted to accomplish in my life. But I wasn't letting that get in the way of my happiness, I was able to take a step back and actually enjoy the journey in the process. Not to say that it was a lightbulb, flash instant, everything was perfect. And I was content from that moment on because life gets in the way, we certainly have our struggles, and that's part of life. But it's given me a greater awareness and acceptance for the life I'm living and a much more appreciation for what I have, and what I had.
Alex Ferrari 6:20
And then you decided to make a whole documentary about it.
Matt D'Avella 6:23
Yeah, so that came about I had been freelancing for probably seven or eight years, and I had been making pretty good money paying down my student loans, which I had over $98,000 Oh,
Alex Ferrari 6:36
my God. Can we just stop for a second? Can we just talk about student debt dude?
Matt D'Avella 6:42
Alex Ferrari 6:44
it's for filmmakers specifically. And I know a lot of I know a lot of people before, I'm going to be actually speaking to someone in the future, or my, in the past, depending on when this gets released, that that was able to pay off their entire 40 or $50,000 student debt in 11 months. And they and they, and they tell you exactly how they did it. And he, I'm like, Yes, we need to talk about it. I think it's if anyone's listening to this, and you want to be a filmmaker, would you advise putting $98,000 in debt to become a filmmaker
Matt D'Avella 7:19
now and the world has changed a lot since that time, now, there's a lot more opportunities to create on your own. So what I would probably suggest is there are so many alternatives, especially for the first two years of college. So whether you're taking community cap classes, online college, whatever it is, I, I could have significantly reduced the amount of debt and given myself some time to breathe, to find my path. But like, dude, most of the stuff I learned in terms of filmmaking wasn't from sitting down in a class it was from and by the way, I was a broadcast telecommunications major. So it was more so TV, but it was me grabbing a camera, like as cheap as it was. And as bad as the quality was at the time, and just running out filming, doing a bunch of stuff, editing on my laptop, and just making films. That's how I got really good. And that's how I started to see myself distance myself from those that were in my class. There were a lot of people my class that were just waiting for the syllabus and for the instructor to tell them how to be a filmmaker how to make a great video. And I was just running out just experimenting, trying different things, because I really loved it. But you couldn't, you couldn't force me not to do it. So I think that's one of the things that you have to learn is that like, the piece of paper nowadays, especially when it comes to creativity and filmmaking, it's, it's, it's not going to be as necessary as you think like if I'm going to hire somebody, I'm looking at their work. And I'm getting to know them and understanding if they're going to mesh well with myself and the people I work with. But at the end of the day, like I don't need that piece of paper to legitimize your value with a question.
Alex Ferrari 8:51
I even heard that now Google is taking kids right out of high school, they won't even look at people with college degrees, because they're just like, no, we'd rather take someone clean, and train them exactly how we want them to have the skills. That's it. It's it's, I've always tell people like look, if you can if you can do if you don't have to worry about money. Sure. Go to film school is fun. Yeah, it's fun. It's a nice four years you'll meet some people be great. But if not, man, I mean, I walked out with about 18 to $20,000 in debt, and I was able to pay that off. Luckily, within a few years after I got out, but $98,000 that's like obscene amount of money. You know?
Matt D'Avella 9:29
Yeah. And that's around the time when I discovered minimalism, and you know, I was living in my parents basement just after college had $98,000 in debt. hardest thing I could think of which was to buy a brand new car. So now I'm like, $118,000 in debt. I'm just worried. And I feel like a failure. I'm like, What is going on? Like, what am I done with my life, all my friends were going out getting their starting jobs and starting salaries. And then minimalism helped me to take a step back and kind of redefine that idea of success like we talked about, and also It gave me a drive a deep drive to want to be debt free to, to have that freedom of being able to move where I wanted to take the jobs that I wanted to, you know, a lot of times it's very easy to just focus on filmmaking or that creative pursuit that you have, when our lives should be taken into account and how flexible we are, how little debt we have, that determines what jobs we can take in the future, and really our career path in general, so we look at all matters. So for me, like paying off my debt, it took me about four and a half years, which was just, every, every dollar I made. And as I grew my business, like my business did pretty well. I grew my business, doing what I did 5060 weddings, probably over the years Bar Mitzvah videos, and get my hands on I started working with tech companies, and I would just pile up money, but I didn't see it at my money I never did. I was like, I'm in debt. This money isn't mine, it belongs to the bank. And that separation for me allowed me to not get attached to the money and not feel like oh my god, like I'm losing something. Because all I saw was I was gaining freedom by paying off my debt. Oh, it's great way to look
Alex Ferrari 11:15
at it. Great way to look at it. I just wanted to talk about that. Because it's something that does not Yeah, talk. it's it's it's it's a complete. It's, it's a it's a crisis, man, it's a crisis. Because I anytime I hear a filmmaker Tell me like, Oh, yeah, I got 100 grand a debt. And I just got out and I'm like, I just, it just hurts me. Because I know as well as you do, it will take years years for them to pay that back. If they're good. Like it took you what, four years, and you were hustling to try to get it off, you were like focused on it. But if you don't, it could take that because like literally walking out with a mortgage of a you know, of a house that you never can
Matt D'Avella 11:51
and you're going to end up paying way more. So if you're the person that's like ad, forget about it, it's not even a big problem, like
Alex Ferrari 11:57
interest only interesting, you're gonna end up
Matt D'Avella 12:00
you're gonna end up paying like an addition. Like, if you have 100 grand in debt, you might end up paying 150 175 in 20 to 30 years total. So I mean, it's the smartest thing you could do financially is to wipe out your debt and have a clean record.
Alex Ferrari 12:15
It's all about ROI, man, what's the return on your investment? Is it? Is it worth it or not? Alright, so back to your documentary. So you so you got into minimalism. And then you started, you put this documentary together? How did it come about?
Matt D'Avella 12:27
So I was working freelance, I had set, like a little corny bucket list, they had about 20 items on it from like, fall in love with somebody who doesn't speak English and like a bunch of silly, that's awesome. But then at the top of the list was make a documentary about something I care about. And minimalism was something that had already impacted my life. So that was kind of in the back of my mind. And then I happened to meet these guys, Josh and Ryan, who run a website called the minimalists. They've got an amazing podcast under the same name. And I basically offered to help them out, like they were coming to New York, they needed somebody to shoot a video for them. So I said, Hey, your guy's work has impacted me greatly. And I would love to somehow get back, help out, shoot a video for you, like, whatever, you'd be willing to charge me, I'd be happy to take it. And I'm like, again, that's from this fact that I was doing pretty well financially. So I wasn't struggling. I just wanted to work on projects I was passionate about. So a lot of times, it's like you, if you're in that position, cornered against the wall, and you need to make money, you may not be able to do something like that, because maybe they they, they wouldn't be willing to pay you your rate. But anyway, we ended up working together, the video that we videos we put together ended up being they really enjoyed them. I thought it turned out great. And we just built the relationship and got to know each other. And then probably three months later, Josh gave me a call. And he's like, hey, like, what do you think about making a documentary about minimalism, and his initial idea was to just do a tour documentary. So pretty basic, like, just follow us around on tour, and then it'll just be about us, you know, talking about our book and talking about minimalism. And maybe we can make this like 45 minute piece that we can release to our audience. That was kind of the gist of it. But I was thinking a little bit bigger picture. And I was like, Well, you know, this is a massive, or at least in my eyes was a massive movement. It was pretty small at the time. But there was still like, you know, 10s of 1000s of people that were focused and practicing this thing called minimalism. There were blogs that were getting just as many views and hits. So I knew as an idea that was resonating. And I was like this, like, there's really something here. If we interview all these people who are minimalists if we maybe find some experts to talk to to help us talk about consumerism or culture, the American dream, maybe we can understand how we got here. So it started with the tour. Like let's just go out on tour. Let's just film you guys as you continue to spread and talk about This message of minimalism. And then let's interview people along the way and see what we can put together. There was some planning in the beginning, but like Mike Tyson says, everybody's got a plan and to get punched in the jaw and the face. And that's certainly happened with me, we, I mean, you know, I had this beautiful vision of how the scenes would be laid out how every interview would be shot in the same exact way. And then when you get there, and just you, you do the best you can with each situation, each environment you put into. And so we filmed the time, and then took a step back and said, okay, like, what do we have here, we started editing together rough cut 123. Filming more footage was probably a process of two to three years, from the very conception of the idea to at the time, we finally had our theatrical release and debut and we we ended up promoting thing and releasing it online. But it definitely like at least in how it was received was well beyond all of our expectations, because it was just me shooting and editing 95% of it, I had some people and friends help out along the way. And I had a friend color, grade it for cheap. Somebody else that I found Peter Duff, he did the sound mix for cheap. And so we were able to really make it work. But we didn't think it was going to be like a hit, we didn't think anybody was going to really watch it. Because a lot of documentaries, go to Netflix to die, they can at least you know, there's hundreds and hundreds of documentaries, probably 1000s of documentaries on there. So we didn't have expectations that it was going to do well. We were just we just wanted to hopefully make our money back, or really make a film that we cared about and could
Alex Ferrari 16:42
help some people. But so but the thing that I find fascinating, and I always kind of preach this as well as, as you guys, at least you were thinking about this, more than that. And then the boys were that there was a niche audience here, there was a niche audience that was growing. It was it was about the hockey stick up as far as the trajectory of the minimalist, because now minimalism is it's a lot more mainstream than it was. Yeah, when you guys were starting?
Matt D'Avella 17:09
Totally, you're always gonna have uncertainty, I think like, you're never gonna be like, you're totally like, there's definitely going to be people who buy this film. But we had a great, I mean, we probably ended up spending around $50,000 on the film, totally, maybe 70. You know, that's like after color sound. We had original music score, which probably cost the most, which helped us in terms of like, then we didn't have to deal with licensing because licensing can be like really tough. All the legal stuff is is dependent on challenging to navigate. But yeah, we like we didn't have any expectations. And but we did know that, hey, they have a decent sized audience. I don't know how many people were like whether it was 50 or 100,000 people a month that went to their blog. But I was like, That's enough, I think to make our money back. And what year was that? By the way?
Alex Ferrari 17:56
What year was that?
Matt D'Avella 17:57
2016 is when we released it. So at the end of 2016. So it did very well. And it was a Ben, I think it was at that point that we re initiated conversations with Netflix, but like, hey, it did really well, like a lot of people are connecting with this film. And then we were able to gather connected with this third party company, Kino lorber, who's a distributor who finally got us onto Netflix. And again, we weren't sure how it was going to do if it was going to even perform well, are people going to see it. But then just that I think it was just the right timing the right idea. And we executed on it well enough that it ended up trending. And it was certainly seen by way more people than we thought. That's awesome.
Alex Ferrari 18:38
And now, before we get into YouTube, man, you had a freelance business, I'm assuming you're not doing as much freelance anymore.
Matt D'Avella 18:45
I'm not doing any freelance anymore. And it was hard to turn away from because I loved it. I love doing client work, especially the further I got along into it because the more selective you can be, and the more I was just working with clients I love. As I mentioned, I did weddings and bar mitzvahs and local TV commercials, like anything I could get my hands on to build my skills and expertise. And then as that evolved, I started working with more startups and tech companies. I worked with a company envision a lot which they're an amazing prototyping design tool. We ended up funding a full feature length documentary called design disruptors, which is where we went and we interviewed with Airbnb and Twitter and Facebook. And I google, the self driving car division at Google to like, talk about how they design experiences today for consumers and people. They use technology, which is basically everybody. And so it was a fun, it was exciting, and I was working on really creative projects, and they all had pretty good budgets. So and I was making good money, but then I released minimalism, and I was like, I like this better. Like you know what I mean, like, and it's more challenging, and it's going to be way more risky. If I drop all client work and go full in on creating original content. And like it truly was a risk, like I'm talking about making hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year to making $0 a year. And I didn't make a dime for those, like a year and a half pursuing YouTube. But that transition was one that I knew I had to make. Because as much as I love the freelance stuff, as much as I was connected and tied to it, I knew that there was a bigger challenge for me to face. And I would regret it if I didn't do it.
Alex Ferrari 20:27
Yeah. And same goes for me, I was, you know, I had my my stripe, my thriving post production business I've had for 20 years, and I within the last year, year and a half, I stopped, I just said, I'm just not, I've turned I turned down work now, because now I'm doing full time indie film, hustle and filmtrepreneur and all the things that I do with it,
Matt D'Avella 20:48
and it's fine, dude, like, you can't do it all as much as you would love to have all the time. And I know you do you work harder than anybody. So I know just how I'm sure how much you probably push yourself to do both at the same time. It's just you gotta you gotta put your family first. And you need to make sure you're not sacrificing too much.
Alex Ferrari 21:07
And very much like you like you just start figuring out what makes you happy? And what and what is your new definition of success and happiness. And that took me years to figure out I mean, you're a bit younger than I am. But But we both figured it out. I wish I would have figured out your age. But I figured it out, I figured it out at my agent. And I said, you know what I just I don't, as I know, I like doing this I like waking up in the morning creating content, being of service to my community, and also go out and get to make my own films, write books, do other things. And it's just so much more satisfying as a human being to do all that and as a creative to do all that than it is just to do client work and, and deal with the politics and deal with the I have to chase money or I have to go do this, all this other stuff.
Matt D'Avella 21:57
The dream, dude. I mean, like it is. That's what stand up comedians, like if like, their goal for at least most of them. There's obviously a handful of people who just want to be famous, just like people who get into YouTube. But like, the dream is to make a living doing what you love to make a living making films or doing stand up comedy, whatever it is, and making a living is paying the bills, period. And if you can get to that point, like I think that's what most people should be striving for. And you get you fall into the trap of always wanting more and more. And that's where I think you could potentially you're going to hurt your happiness. Because if you're constantly chasing happiness or chasing this success, or whatever it is, that presupposes that you don't have it now and you likely never will. Right by being content in the moment and like just being grateful for the fact that we can do this for a living. I think it's that's everything.
Alex Ferrari 22:48
Yeah, because most filmmakers, I know, I did get caught up in the hole, I need to, you know, get into the studio system, I need to make big huge movies, I need to be a millionaire. I need to live in the Hollywood Hills and, and live that lifestyle. And that's the definition you know, of being a successful filmmaker where that is a definition for some people. But it's okay to make a living making or being a filmmaker or doing things in the film industry that is not, you know, shooting Avengers, or avatar, it was like, it's, it's okay. And you know, how many directors get to do that? Literally. Like how many studio directors are there literally, like, I don't know, a few 100 you know that like maybe 1000 guys in the hit like
Matt D'Avella 23:34
we're talking about 5060 year generation here filmmakers like from Scorsese. All the way to Nolan and Fincher like, there's not a lot of dudes that get 100 $200 million check. It's just and, and he I mean, I don't know each of these people personally. But I certainly know that a lot of these top directors have a lot of stress in their lives. And it's me to be at the top is not something that we all should admire. Because, you know, if you polled the 1000 people who potentially do these big budget films, and you ask them all how happy they are, and how content they are, like, I would be surprised if more than 50% of them were like thrilled with their life or their life was in balance. There's a lot of things that we don't see from the outside. And I think if you're constantly trying to and I could be wrong, but I think if we're constantly trying to have these extrinsic rewards and these external measures of success, fame, wealth, instead of looking internally about are we content Are we happy with what we have or we filled with our jobs and our family? Then we're going to be making a big mistake because there's always more stuff you always have more crap or you can always have a bigger film. And you know, you have a hit film but what happens if the next film flops and like nobody watches it and then your career is over? If you didn't have do those internal and ask those internal questions first, then it's good. Gonna be a pretty big fall from the top.
Alex Ferrari 25:01
Yeah, no question and imagine the pressure man like you and I have done production. So like, you know, imagine you have, you know, a quarter million dollars on your head as a director, producer, or a million dollars on your head as a director, producer, that's stressful, that's stressful. And you have to make your day, you got to deal with the talent that is having an issue because you know, they had a breakup with their boyfriend or girlfriend now we have to, and now they're slowing down production. So now you can't get your day and then the producer is going to be yelling at you. And, and there's all these other things. And let's not even talk about if it's a success or not, that's just making the damn thing, let alone trying to be as successful. And that's at a million dollar level. Can you imagine at a 50 100 $200 million level? There is a few human beings on the planet that really have that capability. Do I mean, will I take the meeting for Marvel? Absolutely. I will take that meeting. I think you would take the meeting. I mean, if you'd like,
Matt D'Avella 25:56
let's say you take the meeting,
Alex Ferrari 25:58
you take the meeting, you know, you take the meeting. But like that unit, I'm sure you know, the duplass brothers, right? They they took that meeting for Marvel? And they said no. Because they're like, not really what we want to do. And that's a really strong conviction of who they are and what makes them happy. They have that definition very clear where everybody else in Hollywood would kill for that job. 100%.
Matt D'Avella 26:25
Yeah, the ability to say no, I think is a muscle that not enough people work at. And Greg McEwen who wrote the book, essentialism, talks about the myth of success, how you get to the point where you work your whole life to be successful, you finally get it. And then all of a sudden, you get all these amazing opportunities, all these other opportunities to say yes to things. So people start taking it. And like startups and tech companies fall into this trap, they start trying to do everything they possibly can, because now they have the resources in the team to try to go after it. But then they lose sight of what got them success in the first place. So you have to develop that muscle the ability to say no, especially if you're looking for happiness and contentment, if all you're looking for is financial reward and gain, you'll say yes to a bunch of other things. And then you know, it could fall in your face. And it could end up not working out well for you if you say yes to too much. Alright, so
Alex Ferrari 27:19
let's get into YouTube brother, because when I met you, you were doing a podcast, and you are kind of playing around in YouTube, but you weren't really deep in yet. I mean, you did you do. Were you making videos at that point?
Matt D'Avella 27:32
I think that's a good way to look at it. I was basically following the Joe Rogan method, which is, you know, he's got a YouTube channel. And he's got his main podcast. And what you see with Joe Rogan is a lot of excerpts from that podcast. So you record this for him a three hour interview, but I might do an hour or two tops. And then I can cut it up into all these short clips, and then I can post it on my YouTube channel. Yeah, sure. So that was like my main, but you were focused, but
Alex Ferrari 28:01
you were focusing on building a YouTube, you're like, I'm gonna do something in YouTube. It wasn't like,
Matt D'Avella 28:07
it wasn't me, it was the pot. And the podcast was my main form of content, especially for the first year as I as I started to make original content, I thought the podcast was the thing that was going to be my bread and butter and be my, you know, financial income as well as my creative pursuit. But then, basically, I did that for a very long time. And I just didn't get any views. And I there was, you know, and I knew that I get I was giving myself like two to three years. And I had a runway from my freelance career that I was able to, you know, just dedicate myself at least for a year, maybe two years. And also having a wife that supported me financially helped me out a whole lot.
Alex Ferrari 28:47
Matt D'Avella 28:48
Yes. Shout out to the wives out there that down. Yeah, cuz that definitely, it just, it's more so peace of mind and like, made me feel comfortable and doing it and having her support allowed me to pursue it. But the podcast, it grew a little bit, I was getting a few 1000 downloads a month, but it wasn't at the point where it's financially viable for me. So I was like, Alright, what can I do now to like, just switch things up. And then I just, you know, started watching more YouTube videos and just was paying attention to what other people were doing. And then said, you know, what, why don't I do like a minimalist apartment tour? I think I did. There was a couple of videos I did early on. One was just like traveling simply like how I remember that level, while being simple. And it was like more It was really voiceover as well as just vacation footage. A recent trip that I take into Hawaii, I believe. And then the next video I did was my minimalist apartment. And then that one was the first video I made that really took off. So it wasn't just like a cliche, like, tour like, Hey, guys, it wasn't like MTV Cribs. Welcome to my apartment. This is my stuff.
Alex Ferrari 29:54
cribs, you've dated yourself, sir. Yeah.
Matt D'Avella 29:58
And so in that video is I tried to make it really cinematic, I tried to use all this expertise that I had created over the years to make something that was that was interesting and informative and funny and had my personality in it. So I basically just chopped together this video, put it on YouTube. And then within a week, I think it got 20,000 views, which was like,
Alex Ferrari 30:22
down lower than the algorithm just picked it up.
Matt D'Avella 30:25
The algorithm picked it up because I didn't have an audience, then I had maybe 3000 subscribers. So like, yeah, maybe it would have gotten 400 views. But then it just took off in a way that I hadn't seen with any other video. And then that moment changed everything. And then I'm like, oh, okay, now I get it. I'm starting to like see the matrix code. That dates me to a little bit too, probably. But I'm starting to like see in between the lines, and I'm like, this is the kind of content I should be making. It should be thoughtful, I should take my time to create it. And I shouldn't feel like I need to release three videos every week. So I just started out by doing one video a week, whether it was on minimalism, simple living, focusing on things that I was interested in talking about, mostly talking about myself, and the experiences that I had had why I became a minimalist how to be in a relationship with somebody who isn't a minimalist, and it wasn't good. 130 Yeah, that was that was certainly I think a lot of people resonate with that, because I just had living with somebody who has a different lifestyle, certainly is not the easiest thing to navigate for people. But for us, we've made a channel like I released my minimalist apartment that started to grow. And that's when my my audience, my youtube channel started to take off.
Alex Ferrari 31:37
Yeah, so So you were still doing your podcast at that time. And but you start seeing that this other content was taking off more and more. What What have you learned about building an audience? Because you built Well, first of all, there was a moment because you were doing those videos, and I was watching you. Because I was I was as a subscriber of yours. I was watching what you were doing. And then there was a moment that there was an explosion, like there was like, You were like, all of a sudden, I looked over and you're like, he's got 100,000 followers, like how that happened. He's got 200,000 followers, like how, like, if there was something that happened, what was that thing that happened that like just exploded, you exploded your channel?
Matt D'Avella 32:16
Yeah, that was a really exciting time, especially looking back on it and seeing, it's almost like watching it from another perspective. Like, it wasn't happening to me, it was happening to somebody else. I basically had put out that one video, my minimalist apartment, and I started to make similar videos, and they started to do pretty well. So I had a streak of about a month where my channel was naturally growing. So maybe I like just natively through the algorithm through people watching and subscribing. I think I grew to around 15,000 subscribers or so. And then I was featured as a creator on the rise. So YouTube pick me up in the algorithm, they saw that my channel was doing really well and growing quickly. And then when they put me on that homepage thing and featured me as a creator on the rise, which is like an amazing experience. And surreal. You're the winner they saw, I guess they saw YouTube saw it and then they did they picked me, they probably have some way of solving and figuring out like, okay, these channels are growing quickly, let's check to make sure they're kosher. And like they actually it was it would fit with putting them on the homepage of the trending. So if you went to youtube.com slash trending, there's a whole category there. I made it there. And then probably in a day, I got like 15,000 subscribers, right. So it doubled in a day. And then each day after that, it was still like picking up and then I probably in the course of that few months, like you said, got to about 100,000 subscribers. So it happened very, very quickly. And that half that was a big moment. And that's what I've been a huge growth started and then but you have now a foundation to be able to build upon, which was was exciting and knowing and like a little bit nerve wracking to write because you're like, I'm uploading videos. And now people are watching. It was easy when nobody cared and like I wasn't expecting anything. But now I expect a lot of people to watch it. And so that was certainly a learning lesson and something that I had to grow into. And then there was actually another moment last October so not even that long ago in the past year that my I did for video. I think I like had four or five videos go viral, like hit over a million views back to back to back. And one of them was a day in the life of a minimalist, which currently has is my most viewed video It has over 11 million views. And like so. So that all was crazy. And I think I got 200,000 subscribers in a month just from that month alone. And then from there, like that's how it's been kind of snowballed into what it is today. But you know, it's it's, it's awesome. It's great. I like originally My goal was to get 15,000 subscribers. I thought if I can get 15,000 I'm pretty sure I can make a living doing This. So everything else has been cake on top of it, it's been very cool to be a part of and just, I've just been blown away by how nice people have been in the YouTube comments that there's like really community, they're people who are working on themselves and trying to learn and they're not being critical or judgmental. Of course, the I got a few little negative nancies in the comment section every once in a while. But for the most part, everybody's just been super awesome. And it's just been, it's been an amazing thing to be a part of, and certainly something I'm proud of. And but the big tip there i think is and people listening thinking about trying to do something like this is that you were hustling out
Alex Ferrari 35:38
content for a while before anything happens. So by the time that YouTube showed up, it wasn't that you had two videos up there, you had a lot of content up there. And that's it, oh, wait a minute, there is a lot of content. So when people started to show up, they subscribe not only for one video, but they described because you had a portfolio or a library of videos already created. But you weren't getting any money for those and you weren't getting any kind of views for those, but you just kind of just just kept grinding until something popped.
Matt D'Avella 36:08
And it was it was 10 years to to that point, right, doing freelance and working on films. And again, like not making any money. Like I didn't make money in the beginning when I first started freelancing. That's not why I made videos to begin with. And I wasn't making money early on to YouTube, not why I did it. And you couldn't stop me, you couldn't stop me from making videos, like I loved it. You know, I mean, that would be torture to me. If somebody were to take away all my cameras and say that I can't make films anymore, it would be a struggle for me to figure out something else to do with my life. So I was going to do that no matter what whether, you know, of course, there was always the potential that it wasn't going to work out. And I think that's something that everybody needs to come to terms with. It may not. And it's certainly not going to come turn out to be the life you'd imagined or it's not going to happen the way you might expect it to happen. But you have to continually focus on what you love. So for me, like, if I didn't make it as a YouTuber, I would have just done freelance again. And I wouldn't have been, I wouldn't have felt like a failure, I would have been so proud that I tried that I actually made the attempt. And then if it didn't work in three, four years, whatever time we decided, hey, like, you know, we need to pay for the wedding. Or we, you know, we need to, you know, Natalie, we might get a house or we have kids and we have even more bills that we need to take care of. I had an opportunity to go after it. And if it didn't work, that'd be fine. I'll do freelance and I'll still make videos, maybe I'll take another stab at it again in the future. But you know, you always have options. And I still always in the back of my mind in the back pocket is like wedding films. Um, like if everything falls apart. And nobody ever watches a YouTube video of mine again, and I cannot build a freelance career again, I'll just start making you make wedding films. And I would be totally fine to do that. And like it's good money, and I could still make videos. So that to me, like just, it's almost like just a security wall for me that I just know, like, I'm always going to be doing this no matter what, unless I go blind or something happens to me. Knock on wood. But I think unless anything like that happens, I'm still going to continue to make videos. What I also
Alex Ferrari 38:17
find fascinating about your your meteoric rise, if you will, in the YouTube space, is that money was not the main focus of what you were doing. I mean, it was to me You have to make money to survive. But you did not turn on advertising. You You are your model is very different than others. So can you talk a little bit about the business aspect of your YouTube channel?
Matt D'Avella 38:43
Yeah, so for the first I mean, what did I guess? A year and a half, two years? I did not turn on monetization. I did not do any sponsorships. And like I certainly I mean, it was oh, I mean, at least half a million dollars. Yeah, I gave up. But yeah. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 39:01
I'm looking, I'm thinking to myself, like, what's Why? But I'd love to. That's why we're asking.
Matt D'Avella 39:07
Sure. Well, in the beginning, it didn't matter. Because I wasn't, you know, I didn't get any views in the beginning. So I had no incentive to turn it on. And I was more interested in making something popular, interesting, valuable than I was about making money off of it. Because even when I just started to gain that traction beginning, I was like, I would rather I would trade a view for $1. I'm not that I would. I'm not that I would buy views. But basically, when you have advertising, you're going to lose a certain amount of people that are going to be clicking on the ads. That's just that's what the advertisers pay for. So forget it. Like let me just actually focus on views and garden building an audience and building a community first, and then I'll figure out the money down the road. I did start Patreon. Last year, late last year, maybe around October or so maybe over the summer, and that was my main way to you know, raise money. Do that do what I do. I create additional videos and podcasts and all that stuff. And then I was able to make good money doing that. And then just recently, I decided to finally turn on monetization and sponsorships to do a six month trial to see one. With Does that hurt views? Does it do? How do I feel about that? Am I feeling good about the partnerships I'm making in the companies that I'm working with? I feel like it just distracts and takes away from the video too much. And then can I use that money to invest back in my videos and make even better videos, maybe travel more and do more films outside of my apartment and outside of Los Angeles, and then invest more into maybe feature like documentaries, maybe I can produce it, whether it's a YouTube original or another Netflix film. There's a lot of awesome things that you can do with money. And yeah, I don't need to buy a lot of stuff. But I've got all this I literally have all this stuff I need besides like camera gear and film gear, which is like, you know, continue to always innovate for years you need to continually make sure you have your cameras up to the right standards and because we love it and we want to make better films, but so that's where I'm investing like all the money I make like obviously you got the 401 k we got the wedding fun. We've got like a fun to potentially buy a house in the future. But for right now it's like I'm just trying to make the best films I can and money certainly helps.
Alex Ferrari 41:24
That's awesome. I do want to talk a quick about one of your videos because it's something that's dear to my heart. You You took a cold shower for 30 days.
Matt D'Avella 41:32
Oh yeah, I was kind of sucked.
Alex Ferrari 41:35
I've been taking a cold shower now for four months now five months. Wow.
Matt D'Avella 41:42
I like I love it. I love it.
Alex Ferrari 41:44
I actually actually when it's when the when the hot water accidentally gets turned on or something like that. I freak out. I don't like it. I don't like
Matt D'Avella 41:53
hot water. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 41:54
I don't want no water
Matt D'Avella 41:55
no experience like taking a hot shower after that. 30 days. But I do the cold shower is wakes you up like nothing else. Like no cup of coffee ever could. Yeah, and it's just refreshing to and now sometimes all like I don't take cold showers right now like not religiously. But I will like end on a cold shower. I love doing cold plunges. I love jumping into the ocean. Like to me, nothing feels better than just like freezing cold water. I don't know what it is about it. But it definitely like it talks. It changes your state in an instant. So if you're like anxious or nervous or whatever, if you happen to a cold shower, gone, I cannot think about anything else. But like the pain you're experiencing. But it's a good pain, right.
Alex Ferrari 42:39
But like the thing is, is and I've told people about it, I started doing it because of the half half mess, the half method, The Iceman, the guy who does? Yeah, well, exactly. And I started studying his stuff. And when I started taking that cold start taking cold showers, I realized that one, every single thing that my mind was telling me to why I should not get into the cold shower, is the same excuses. It told me about not making a feature film, or not doing this because it was such a huge, it was such an outside the box thing, your brains there. And I've said this a bunch of times on our podcast, your brain is there. It doesn't care about your happiness. It doesn't give a crap about view getting to your dream or not. It only cares about survival. It only cares about itself. And a cold showers that equation at first where it you have to kind of break through that mental block. And trust me do that first month. And you know it was I started the same way I start off warm and then slowly cool it off. And now like and literally this morning I went to the shower. And I put on like a little like it's just a drop of hot water, just a drop just as not an absolute freezing. But then as I'm watching like it's too hot. To get off, I'll go all the way
Matt D'Avella 44:00
you adapt to it too. And I think like you adapt both physically and mentally in terms of how you are prepared to take it. And there's a great book that does talk about this. The the flinch by Julian Smith. And it's about basically you know, when you if you're boxing and you're in a fight, and somebody snaps their their their hand at you and snaps a jab at you, if you flinch, you're not going to win that fight. So boxers over time develop this no flinch mentality. So if somebody didn't take a swing at them, they have to always be there locked in, and if they close their eyes, then they're going to get clobbered. And that's what we do in life all the time. We're flinching at these big opportunities, these things that scare us. And instead we're deciding not to go on that date not to make that film not to take that cold shower. And a cold shower is one of those things that it there's no harm in it. Unless you have like problems with your heart. You're not going to have any negative repercussions because of it. It's strictly a personal thing. You're up Little bit uncomfortable. And the more we can embrace those uncomfortable situations, the better we're going to be able to do that throughout the rest of our life.
Alex Ferrari 45:07
Yeah. And there's also health benefits too. And I remember I was worse. I wasn't as sore as I was when I worked out because it's just, there's a reason why athletes take ice baths.
Matt D'Avella 45:16
Yeah, totally. Yeah, I love the coal plant like that would be like a dream of mine. One ideal world to have a coal plant at my house, and then maybe a little sauna to be able to do the cycle back and forth.
Alex Ferrari 45:28
That's what Tony Robbins says Tony Robbins has like this. This dunk this dunk. But he just says it's like a hole in the ground. He just read degrees or whatever drops in. And then he jumps over into the sauna like, Oh,
Matt D'Avella 45:41
Alex Ferrari 45:42
Yeah. People I know listening by now are watching. They're like,
Matt D'Avella 45:45
these guys are crazy. These guys are not they're like, you have to actually try it. And I would definitely recommend, if you are just getting into it, maybe go to a spa or sauna that has it, where you can do the sonicwall appliance because that's like, it's certainly an experience. For sure. Like something you'll remember, I
Alex Ferrari 46:03
think it's more of a mental exercises than a physical one. Because it's all mental, like your body can handle it, your body, your body will tell you to stop about 20% before your body will snap. So it's just it's just evolution, it's there to protect you. But your body can handle a lot more than your mind thinks it can. And if you can break through that it does help a lot on our filmmaking journey in our life journey, just being able to break through that uncomfortable state because what do we all always try to do? You know, avoid pain and go towards pleasure. We're always trying to avoid pain, but the pain is kind of where the good stuff is. That's where the dreams are like, like Joseph Campbell said, the treasure you seek is in the cave that you're afraid to walk into.
Matt D'Avella 46:50
I love it. Yeah, that's a Ryan Holiday has a book called the obstacle is the one Yes, yes. So it's ism and how in our life, we're always trying to avoid obstacles. We think that they're they're getting in the way of our life when in fact they are life. And the sooner we understand that things will never go according to plan. The quicker we can find contentment in our lives.
Alex Ferrari 47:15
Have you do have you delved into stoicism? A lot
Matt D'Avella 47:18
of it you know, I just interviewed Ryan Holiday yesterday. Yes, he's awesome. He was really really cool to connect with him. It was like surreal to me, because I've just I've read all his books, and I've been a fan for a while now. But he Yeah, so I and I'm starting to get more into stoicism. I mean, just the practice of it. A lot of people think it's like a lack of emotion. But that's not it at all. It's just about facing life's challenges with a level head and not letting yourself like getting over inflated ego continuing to be thankful for what we have. And certainly try to put that into practice myself.
Alex Ferrari 47:55
And you also interviewed. You know, a God in the entrepreneurial space. Gary Vee.
Matt D'Avella 48:03
Alex Ferrari 48:05
What was that? Like? Dude, I have to ask him, what was it like talking to Gary, man?
Matt D'Avella 48:09
That was cool. So I actually had interviewed Gary once before, like, a long time ago when I was doing freelance work, you know, happy to do an interview with him. So I've been around him, but like that was before. I mean, he was big then at least for people who were like in the circle and understood what he was doing and seen one or two of his books he had put out at the time, but obviously up to this point now. His company has like exploded and he's a he's almost a household name at this point is a very well known, but it was it was awesome. You know, I like I overprepared, I did as much as I could, I was very, it was not easy to get the interview, I was coordinating with multiple people, I have some connections with friends who worked with Gary Vee, Tyler babban, one of them who's a filmmaker, and he's like, just write up an email, and I can forward it to him, but he's like, you know, I can't guarantee anything, and then nothing really worked. And then all of a sudden, I just sent out a tweet to him one Sunday night and was I would love to interview you about how we can hustle with more intention, how we can bring more intentionality into our work lives. And how to find happiness. And I think my subscribers might gain some value from that. And then I think he then he just responded and just said in and I was like, Alright, sweet, like, when is this gonna happen? And then it was maybe a couple of months later, like we coordinated it. We eventually scheduled an interview. He ended up coming he was in LA and I happened to have a, you know, 30 minute block with him where I got to talk about intentionality and minimalism, and I prepared the hell out of it. I read every one of his books, and I probably, yeah, there's so good, I probably over prepared but like, his books were certainly a good reminder to me, and I really wanted to I didn't want to go in there and be like, yo, why do you hustle so hard, Gary, I wanted to understand like this man and how he, how he thinks and works and when I read his books, and I got the full context. I'm like, He's He's just wants people to be happy. And he thinks that working hard and you got the hat on right now and hustling and putting in the work is an important aspect of that. And he himself would be miserable if he worked four hours a day, or if he worked 40 hours a day, like he would rather work 100 hours, or sorry, 44 hours a month, started a week. So for him, it's about, like, I work a lot, but I love what I do. And if I worked any less, I would be miserable. And I think it's a I think that's certainly an important question to ask ourselves. Like, are we happy with our work? Are we working too hard? Are we not working enough? And where do we find that balance in life?
Alex Ferrari 50:41
And I have to ask you, man, how is your quest to get the rock on this show?
Matt D'Avella 50:46
You know, I still have a photo in my wallet here. Like I honestly, I walked around all day. photo of the rock in my wall fan in here like you see it like it's like, torna Yeah, a camera out there.
How did you get that? What
did you just like printed it out yourself? That's awesome. Yeah, like went to like FedEx. I just printed out. And the guy was looking at me like, this is like some weird shit. But if you are, and no, I decided from the beginning, like around a little bit earlier before you came on my podcast. I was like, if I could get one person, like, what's the biggest name, I could get somebody who's got the best ground up stories, somebody who's made it, but still continues to put in the work and continues to bosses and work really hard. And just seems like a great dude, somebody that I would like, want to connect with and have beers with. I was like, it's got to be the rock. And I mean, he just continues to get bigger and bigger. And I think it becomes more and more unattainable, but it's fun for me. And like, if I never get the rock on my podcast, if I never interview him, it's not gonna be the end of the world. It's really just about the process right and enjoying the attempt and attempt will be made. So we'll see if we can actually get him on the show.
Alex Ferrari 51:57
Yeah, I did. I literally just did an entire episode on the list of all the the filmmakers and screenwriters and people I want on the show. And like I just said, If anyone out there listening has any connection to any of these people, please reach out to me, and I'm just gonna put it out into the universe and see, you know, and I had, you know, Cameron Spielberg, you know, all the it's just every big filmmaker, screenwriter, and PR, and, you know, personality that wanted to talk to and we'll see,
Matt D'Avella 52:24
we'll see I've had actually, I've had, you got to go for it. Like, I hate it when people are like, are you sure that person is kind of big? I don't think you're going to be able to get him on your show podcast. And I'm like, exactly, it would be amazing. If I could get that. And there is a world there is an order of sequence of events that can conspire to make it happen. It just depends, like, how much do you want to work for it? And how much do you want to put on the line to make it happen?
Alex Ferrari 52:48
And how many subscribers Do you have now on YouTube? As of this recording? How many
Matt D'Avella 52:53
1.61 point 6 million so
Alex Ferrari 52:55
at 1.6 million? It's still hard to get the rock on. But like six or 7 million? Will his PR people go? We should probably get him on the show. Like, there's, there's a breaking point, dude like it because at what point 6 million is no
Matt D'Avella 53:09
joke, at least to get? You know, that's the one thing I had to think about. Because I might you know, who knows, I could get invited to one of these press junkets and it's like, is that how I want it? Like, would I want it to be like, I don't want to be on interview amongst 100 in the same setting. I need to be unique. And you know, there's Oprah like, Oprah.
Alex Ferrari 53:28
You want to do Oprah? Yeah.
Matt D'Avella 53:28
Yeah, exactly. It needs to be a story, right? Like I wanted, you know, I mean, now it's not much of a story because my podcast and my youtube channel has grown. Because like, in the beginning, it would have been hilarious because it was just a no name guy, like, this guy. Like, that's not the websites get the rock on Matt's podcast, just some guy named Matt, who wants to get the rock on his podcast. Now, like some of the errors and taking it out of it, but still it is. You know, it's about that journey from the beginning of a guy that, you know, had nothing trying to get the biggest superstar in the planet on his podcast. So I'm still gonna push for it. I haven't, you know, talked about it too much on the YouTube channel. lately. It's been a podcast thing. But, you know, once I have some time to delve into it, I want to like put together a plan and make like one video or a series of videos, where like, that's the only thing I do and maybe enlist as many friends as I can to try to like stir up and get on his radar.
Alex Ferrari 54:21
other YouTubers. Yeah,
Matt D'Avella 54:22
yeah, exactly. So we'll see if it ends up happening. If it does, it'll be really cool. And I'm sure it'll be a nerve wracking experience.
Alex Ferrari 54:33
I you know, the funny thing is, is that if he actually heard this, he would probably do it.
Matt D'Avella 54:38
You know, like, I've talked to Brian Bowen Smith, who's a celebrity photographer, and he's worked with the rock a lot. And he calls him a friend. And he's like, you know, I guarantee like, it's something that he would want to do. Like, he really is a good dude. And he wants to do everything he possibly can to like, make people happy and do all the interviews he could possibly do. It's just a matter of like, will the timing work? cow, you know, I mean, not like I don't even I say no to interviews. Right? Like, and I'm like the rock is he's the rock. So I think everybody asks him to interview him all the time. So the amount of nose that he gives out is exponential to even what I do. So I'm like, I feel bad when I say no to people, because I'm like, I'm sorry. Like, right now, I'm working on a film that says, I can't I can't do an interview right now. And it's like, I'm like, it's just me. Like, I don't see myself. I don't hold my high regard.
Alex Ferrari 55:30
I agree with you. I get asked things all I get asked things all the time. And I have to say no to I've learned to say no to them. But I do appreciate you saying yes to this interview, though. I do appreciate because, man, I know you're I know you're I know you're big time now. So I do appreciate it
Matt D'Avella 55:43
now. You helped me out so much when I got started.
Alex Ferrari 55:48
So what is the next thing for you man? Like what is what is in the the next few years, man because I again, I'm, I'm so and I don't want to be derogatory. But I'm so proud of you. I don't want to, you know, I'm proud of because I saw you literally Fresh Off the Boat with like, Hey, man, I'm just hustling, you know, this podcast, and I'm trying to get this little YouTube channel off the ground to 1.6 million subscribers. And you kind of blew up and I see all the work you've put into it. And it's a lot of work. When you do a lot of work. There's no question. But what's the next? What's the next steps? Like? Do you want to do more feature films Do you want because now you have an audience, like if you decided to make minimalism to which would kind of go against minimalism, you know, minimalism to the Electric Boogaloo, if you decide to go down that road, and you have a built in audience that way, you could easily self distribute the film, you could, you know, probably finance the film yourself. And there's a lot of, there's a lot of film intrapreneurial things that you could do based on the audience that you've put together, you could create different contexts, you can create online courses on how to become a minimalist, there's so many different things that you can do. What is the next steps for you, man?
Matt D'Avella 56:59
Yeah, so first, I would say that I, I have definitely pushed up to the point of burnout multiple times. And I know this is something that a lot of YouTubers and creators entrepreneurs deal with. And I think that if you haven't pushed yourself that far, it's a good test, it's good to know like the line and where we should be drawing it. Cole Wallace is the one that told me that he's like, just push yourself across that line every once in a while, but then come back and and understand, okay, that's probably a little bit too much, I probably don't want to spend that much time working. So now, I feel great. I mean, I've had some anxieties in the past and some burnout and all this stuff. But now I feel like I'm at a place in my life where balance is there, I'm really I'm dedicating myself to my health and my wellness and my life. And also creating the films that I want to make. And I'm not sacrificing on quality in any way. Continue to make films is and always will be the goal. And what I plan to do, what form that takes what platform that ends up on. I'm not really sure we are working with Netflix on another film. And it is like it's not minimalism v2. But it's like Josh and Ryan story, and we're kind of going into it and telling in a totally different way. So we are working on that film. I'm doing the YouTube videos once that films complete. Yeah, I think it would be really cool to do an original documentary. Probably not, I don't know about a series series is too overwhelming for it. But that said, like, I think it would be fun to do an original project, maybe something like my YouTube videos, maybe like a film on self help and self development, I think it'd be really cool and fun. And I can't to basically just make a longer format version of one of my YouTube videos. But uh, other than that, yeah, I mean, you have to continually push yourself and you got to do things that you're uncertain of, and unknown, whether it's going to be worked out or not. And that's what I'm most excited about is just embracing the unknown.
Alex Ferrari 58:55
That's awesome to me. Again, I want to congratulate you brother on all your success. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, man. Seriously, I think I'm happy. I'm happy to see you. You're doing well man and that you're doing good work and you're being of service to the your community and to the world at large for people. I mean, the concept of minimalism is so important. I mean, it was because of you threw away a bunch of shirts. I was looking for six months later, but I'm not kidding you. I went through my whole closet and I started dumping stuff. And then I lost 40 pounds. And then I'm like, oh, let me get the Hawaiian shirt on. Like, oh, I don't have it anymore. I
Matt D'Avella 59:33
I've been waiting years to wear that they have big
Hawaiian shirts out
Alex Ferrari 59:39
there. Exactly. That's the way I look at I look at it that way. But I've tried to become more minimalist in my life and, and it's helped me out a lot. I'm not I'm not where you're at, because I have children and I would love to see your life with children.
Matt D'Avella 59:54
Wait, that's gonna be a way it's gonna change. Things will change for sure.
Alex Ferrari 59:58
The minimum the minimal is five is going to be a very that should be the next YouTube channel the minimalist.
Matt D'Avella 1:00:04
That's really good. Yeah, when everything falls apart, it might be an oxymoron.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:07
It just comes crashing down. Can you tell me the book that had the biggest impact on your life or career?
Matt D'Avella 1:00:17
The War of Art by Steven pressfield book, it just puts into words, the struggles that I have faced and continue to face with my work and sitting down to do the work. So he's a he calls it the resistance. So this force that prevents you from sitting down to do the work that you need to the creative pursuit that you're on. And you know, just rewrite it recently and it helps me every time I have facing a roadblock, and I'm having difficulties actually getting the work
Alex Ferrari 1:00:49
and I love is the sequel do the work?
Matt D'Avella 1:00:52
Which is that Yeah, the War of Art and do the work yet both of them are fantastic. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn in life, enjoy the process, we have a tendency to continue to look forward to look forward to the moment when we've made it when we no longer have to worry about anything ever again. As you find out that moment never comes and there's always new challenges and obstacles that will be had. And the more that you can enjoy the process enjoy each day that you get to do the work that you love to do. Even if you're just getting started and you're not making any money. Then I think like that's where contentment lies. That's where we find happiness is in those moments, without question because if you keep going after that,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:35
if you live in the future, you will never enjoy the present. And it's just like it's like that rat we it's like that hamster wheel. Now where can people find you your work and your personal home address and I'm joking.
Matt D'Avella 1:01:48
You can go to Matthewdvella.com. You'll be able to find my YouTube channel and everything else from that website.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:01
Dude, man, thank you again so much for taking the time. I know you're a very busy man these days. So I thank you so much for coming on and sharing your experience with the tribe brothers. So thanks again,
Matt D'Avella 1:02:10
Thanks for having me. Dude. This was a whole lot of fun.
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Links and Resources
- Matt D’Avella – Website
- Matt D’Avella – Youtube
- Slow Growth Academy
- Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
- The Minimalists: Less Is Now
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