MrBeast’s career trajectory proves that online success is possible after overcoming the struggle to find a niche. In 2012, a 13-year-old Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, uploaded his first video. On a constant search for trendy topics that would resonate with YouTube’s algorithm, MrBeast tested various genres – recording himself playing video games, guessing other YouTubers’ earnings, and commenting on online beefs between rival creators. 

In 2015 and 2016, the creator made some progress in audience growth when he poked fun on camera at bad intros from other YouTubers’ intros. In that time, he gained 30K subscribers. Jimmy eventually discovered what brought in thousands of views: stunts – clips of him spinning a fidget spinner for 24 hours, counting to 100K, etc. – earned him his first 1M subscribers.

Stunts like spinning a fidget spinner for 24 hours and counting to 100K drew the big audiences for @MrBeast on @YouTube. Net worth now? $24M. #contententrepreneur Click To Tweet

Today, Jimmy has 64.1M YouTube subscribers, 13.1M Instagram followers and makes a living primarily through deals with brands such as the shopping assistant app Honey. Late last year, Insider estimated the YouTube star’s net worth at $24 million.

Why we’re a Stan: MrBeast is a great content entrepreneur success story. We’re particularly interested in how his original goal wasn’t to do something he was passionate about but to find content that would resonate with a big audience. He also knew (or realized) that success would require him to test and see what would work.

#YouTuber @MrBeast opted for content an audience wanted, not content he had a passion to create. #contententrepreneur Click To Tweet

About the author

Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.