Ever wanted to peek behind the curtain of your favorite brands? How about having a closer look at the decision making process of your fellow designers? Today, I'd like to take you behind the design and share my journey with you all.
Hi, I'm Michael Strauch, founder of the YouTube channel, Wix Training Academy. As of this day, we have roughly 37,000 subscribers, 185,000 monthly views, and over 600,000 minutes of content consumed each month. At ten years old, I went door-to-door, looking for an opportunity. Whether it was offering to wash someone's car or helping them in with other chores, we wanted a chance. I distinctly remember when my brother and I (10 and 8 years old) finally knocked on the right door and found someone who needed help with their garden. As much as I'd like to say we had a "green thumb" by age 8 and 10, we didn't. Fortunately, the homeowner realized this relatively quickly and switched us over to washing his car. It felt like striking gold. Just like that, we made some quick cash.
Growing up, my brother and I explored several small business ventures. We went from being neighborhood lawn care specialists to selling items on eBay, and even teaching senior citizens how to use the computer. As time went on, I saw a trend occurring with technology and media becoming more prevalent in our day-to-day. Months before this, my father (a successful entrepreneur), sat my brother and me down to say that he believed there was an opportunity on YouTube for us. Being young and oblivious, I didn't want to listen as I thought my lawn care business had so much more potential.
Keeping what my father said in mind, I began doing some research of my own. I decided to become more active online, and soon after, I realized there indeed was an opportunity on YouTube. I seized the opportunity and started a channel dedicated to technology. It began by showing people "how-to" style videos on installing antivirus software on their computers and getting rid of spam ads on Google Chrome.
As if my father's words were ringing in my head like the church bells at lunch, my channel began to get traction. Granted, it was traction for a 13-year-old. After getting my first 50 subscribers, I decided I wanted to build a website for my community. I wanted to give everyone a way to watch my videos and interact with each other.
My next step was to scavenge the web for the best website design builders. After trying every single one available at the time, I discovered Wix.com. I instantly became obsessed with the creative design freedom and the ability to architect any website I could imagine. I felt it was very user-friendly and knew that was where I wanted to build my website. My only roadblock at the time, not knowing how to accomplish specific tasks on the platform. I would tirelessly search Google and YouTube, hoping I could find answers, and I got nothing.
It was at that very moment that a lightbulb went off in my head. There was no Wix training content, and I had a YouTube channel showing how-to videos. What if I shifted my focus to solely showing people how-to-use Wix? It was the perfect opportunity to create content for a platform that was growing in popularity.
Being the budding entrepreneur I was, I decided to pioneer this Wix training content. This way, anyone using the platform could find solutions to the problems I once encountered. I also saw this as an opportunity to force myself to learn the platform. I figured if I studied the platform, I could learn it and teach others. I knew that having this knowledge would give me an edge.
From that point, I began uploading Wix training videos. At first, traction was very minimal. Wix was still a new platform at the time, so traffic was not as heavy. As Wix began to grow, it added some awe-inspiring apps to its platform. As they made additions, I created more videos and eventually saw an increase in traffic. Before I knew it, I had a growing YouTube channel dedicated to Wix training content. As the weeks progressed, I continued creating content based on my viewers' requests. In the process, something unexpected happened. One of my viewers reached out and asked if I could build their website.
I nervously accepted the request, but being between 15 and 16 years old at the time, I charged very low for what the website was truly worth. I was getting my feet wet and used this more as a learning experience than a revenue driver. Seeing as it was the first site I designed for a client, I was proud of my first successful transaction. As the channel continued to grow, so did the incoming requests for web design projects. I now had a decision to make. Do I build a web design business and start building websites for others? Or do I stick to content creating and training videos? Although I enjoyed playing around with web design, it was never my true passion. It came about as an opportunity, and seeing as I had nothing else lined up in terms of different businesses, I decided to pursue it.
Fast forward to 2019; my YouTube channel grew to nearly 100,000 monthly views and roughly 15,000 subscribers. Incoming lead requests were at an all-time high, so I decided to get serious about my web development company. I chose to specialize in web development rather than design because I enjoyed it more. Wix released Corvid at the time, so I assembled a small team that included a developer and virtual assistant. I then built a hugely successful sales and began running my web design agency.
In the first month of my new venture, I generated $30,000 in revenue. I was a junior in college that had just made $30,000 on my first business venture, and I couldn't believe it. I thought I was dreaming, so I decided to see if I could replicate results in month two.
After a successful first two months, I was on top of the world. By the end of 2019, I had built a web development company that employed nine people, all while doing it from my dorm room. Although things seemed to be going well, something changed in me. A few months into the launch of my new business, I hit a slump. I had many restless nights, anxiety was at an all-time high, and I couldn't pinpoint why. I severely slowed down the uploads to my YouTube channel because I had more business than I could personally manage, and my drive was non-existent.
I realized that the rapid growth of my web development company, combined with the stress of being a college student, was the source of my anxiety. After coming to terms with this, I made a tough decision. I wanted to manifest the life of freedom I initially set out to achieve and decided to dedicate 2020 to my YouTube channel, which meant giving up my business.
My YouTube channel was generating a very nice passive income by this point, and I yearned to get back to my craft. I wanted to create the best Wix training content out there, so I had to pick up where I left off. I can look back as we approach the Summer of 2020 and say this was the best decision I ever made. Not only is my channel growing at a rapid pace, but I am enjoying a life of freedom while regaining my mental and physical health. Many of you know I have an immense love for Wix, but I am an entrepreneur through and through. Web development is in me, but it is the business side that excites me and motivates me to push forward each day.
Because I was finally able to take my time back, I got the chance to sit down and plan out what I'd like my future to be, both personally and professionally. I graduate college this Fall and will be moving with my girlfriend to Charlotte, NC, tentatively. You may see me live out my passion for content creation, digital media, and business in many different verticals on YouTube. Still, I can assure you that Wix Training Academy is here to stay.