Malkhaz Geldiashvili's mission is simple: Help people find the courage to do what they're passionate about. We found out how scribe videos help Malkhaz reach an audience of millions on YouTube.
Fight Mediocrity is Malkhaz's YouTube Channel. It houses a growing number of animated book reviews from the self-improvement genre. These are books about big, life-changing ideas from names such as Tim Ferriss, Malcolm Gladwell and Napoleon Hill.
Malkhaz's review of Steven Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been watched almost 1,000,000 times. Fight Mediocrity boasts over 240,000 subscribers and 8 million views.
We got to know the man behind the idea.
Great to meet you Malkhaz. Please, tell us your story
I was born in the Republic of Georgia in 1992. We were really poor, and all of my memories from being a little kid are about food or what I was doing to get food. I was physically weak and constantly sick, I had no self-esteem.
I did do a lot of math problems though and when I applied for the United States Air Force Academy, I got accepted.
I was really happy. It was like a dream come true. Now I would have a 'good' life. I was studying economics and starting to look at graduate schools. All of it would've seemed pretty cool – but I wasn't actually happy. I wasn't passionate about what I was doing.
During my junior college year, I read the book The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. One of its big ideas is to stop hoping for a feeling of completion in life. Stop waiting for things to get better. And I realised that's what I had been doing my entire life.
What inspired you to 'fight mediocrity' and tell these stories?
I finished the book in one day, woke up the next day and did everything differently. I wasn't going to chase a degree, I was going to chase real knowledge and experience – my passions.
I have a great life because one day I picked up a book and read it. And then read another few hundred realising that the more I educate myself, the better my life gets.
My last two years in college, I read a lot. Everything in my life was improving – my confidence, my health, my psychological well-being, my finances.
My friends could see that and they would ask about it, and I would share some of the things I had learned from the books I read. So I realised there was a huge demand for this.
Who are your videos for?
The videos are for everyone. Anyone can watch it and connect with it if he or she genuinely wants to take something away.
The FightMediocrity YouTube channel has everyone from 16-year-old kids trying to build a better life to 60-year-old women who enjoy the videos.
What's so appealing about the whiteboard video format?
I like to say the secret to success in business is this:
Either be better than what's currently on the market, or be different in a way that adds value.
If you do either, it'll be pretty hard to be unsuccessful.
I didn't start out with animations. I just stood in front of the camera and talked about the book – and of course I wasn't growing. So I had to take a hard objective look at it.
If I were the viewer, would I want to watch an awkward kid who hasn't developed his skill in front of the camera yet, or someone like Tony Robbins?
It is impossible to be better if you're a 22-year-old just starting out. You just haven't put in the required time yet to be a master at your craft. So I went back to my business blueprint with the question:
If I can't be better, how can I be different in a way that adds value?
One of the ideas was animation, so I researched it more and came across VideoScribe. I knew nothing about animation, so the biggest priority was ease of use.
I started making the videos and objectively tried to answer the question again. Would someone want to watch this along with a Tony Robbins video?
The better I got, the more the answer became yes – a person who wants to watch Tony might also want to watch me.
The channel took off and I have so much gratitude for Sparkol and VideoScribe because of that.
What kind of response have you had to your videos?
The best part is receiving a message from someone saying I've changed their life. I mean I get amazed every time I read one of those stories. A lot of the stories just make me cry.
A little kid told me his house just burned down and he’s had family members die, but he's going strong because of a video I made. I mean it just blows my mind. I never thought I could have that big an impact on others so early in life.
What's next for you?
FightMediocrity has grown like crazy. I've only been posting for a very short time and it has been pretty sporadic. However, I've made this my main focus for the rest of 2015 – and it's going to grow into one of the biggest sources in the personal development niche.
The best part about all of this is doing what I love and giving value to the world.
Absolute pleasure talking to you Malkhaz, thanks for your time
Hope you guys are doing well at Sparkol.