nelson mandela

An influencer and MrBeast.

After YouTube phenomenon MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, 25, graduated high school in 2016, his mother made a deal with him. He could live in her house and go to college, or if he didn’t want to pursue higher education, he would have to move out and live on his own. So, he decided to go to college, although his heart wasn't in it.

The content creator, philanthropist, and founder of Feastables chocolate snack brand had just started making videos on YouTube as a teenager and had yet to hit the big time. So, he went to school while continuing his passion for creating YouTube videos.

However, college was not for MrBeast and he quickly dropped out. “I got to college and I couldn’t stand it, man. I used to sit in front of other classrooms and think, yo, I don’t know what the fu*k is going on,” he said, according to Essentially Sports. Instead, he put all his efforts into pursuing his dream of being a YouTube star. By the following year, he had earned over 1 million subscribers on the platform and was well on the way to being a success.

Last year, MrBeast reportedly made $82 million from his hundreds of millions of subscribers.

In an interesting twist to his story, MrBeast recently warned aspiring influencers and content creators to be careful about following his footsteps and giving up everything to pursue their dreams.

"It’s painful to see people quit their job/drop out of school to make content full time before they’re ready," Donaldson wrote on X on March14. "For every person like me that makes it, thousands don’t. Keep that in mind and be smart plz."

MrBeast’s tweet contradicts the inspiring advice successful people often give about following their dreams. Especially for someone so young who gave up a college education to pursue his. MrBeast is not advocating for people to follow the words of the great T.S. Eliot, who once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Or Nelson Mandela, who famously said, "There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

But MrBeast definitely knows the business he’s in, and it’s a lot different than it was when he first started out in 2016. The number of YouTubers has expanded exponentially over the past 8 years, and there are only so many eyeballs and sponsorships to go around.

Further, influencers now have to compete with artificial intelligence and TikTok is in danger of being shut down by the government.

"The chances of you quitting your job without a safety net and becoming a successful content creator are slim to none and anyone who does that is the exception, not the rule," Katya Varbanova, a brand marketing strategist and the CEO of Viral Marketing Stars, told Business Insider. She also added that a big part of MrBeast’s success was "being in the right place at the right time."

MrBeast made it big by working tirelessly to figure out the type of videos the YouTube algorithm and viewers wanted produced. Then, he scaled up his budgets and production quality to become a leader in the content creator industry. But one of the keys to his success was that he got in the game at the right time.

For those who may be discouraged by MrBeast’s thoughts on becoming an influencer in 2024, it doesn’t mean to stop following your dreams. It means to be like MrBeast and find the next big thing before everyone else, work hard to perfect it and shoot for the stars.