We had the good fortune of connecting with Miguel Peraza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miguel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I have found that everything worthwhile in my life, every ounce of progress, has started with a risk. If a major decision doesn’t make you stop and think, then you’re not thinking big enough. You’re not putting yourself out of your comfort zone. I have both extremes. As someone who once weighed 460 pounds and lived in the suffocating comfort of my solitude, I have also done the complete opposite. and found the courage to leave my job, sell all my belongings and sleep on my sister’s floor as I pursued a dream to play video games for a living. Accepting risk, and accepting the possible consequences of a bold risk has been transformational in my life. It’s allowed me to realize my most outlandish and beautiful dreams.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I co-own and run a YouTube channel called Gamer’s Little Playground, which currently has 2.25 million subscribers with over 1 Billion views channel-wide. In order to make it on YouTube, I had to dedicate my entire life to the channel. YouTube is highly competitive, especially in the video game industry. You have to be willing to put in 16 hours a day, because if you don’t, someone else will. While the work is easy physical work, the emotional and psychological toll can be extreme. Your emotional state becomes attached to how well your channel is doing. You’re reading thousands of comments, and one critical one can derail your entire day. I was working as a teacher before I committed full time to YouTube, but when I did, I was only making a couple of hundred dollars from my channel. It was still very small but I was determined to make it work. So I quit my job, sold my car, sold every belonging I didn’t need so I could buy myself sometime to make my dream of playing video games for a living come true. The first couple of years were rough. Money wasn’t flowing in, and dealing with the solitude and doubt were crippling at times. But what I found always got me through, was my underlying belief in what I was doing. No matter how low views got, or how many copyright issues would arise, I knew that there was a place for my channel on YouTube. That there was an audience for my type of content, and that I just needed to keep striving and fighting for every single viewer
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d start by hitting a Tommy’s on the way home from the airport. Everyone always hypes of In-N-Out (understandable) but the real L.A. gem is Tommy’s and I can’t be covinced otherwise (don’t @ me). Day 2 we’d hit my favorite bike trail. Way over in the outskirts of LA in Santa Clarita, they have the most beautiful bike paths you’ll ever see. They’re built directly in the heart of the city, and is thriving with life. Day 3 we’d hit a theme park, most likely Universal Studios, just to take it easy and hit City Walk afterwards. Nothing like the studio tour to get an equally relaxing and thrilling ride! Day 4 we’d hit Santa Monica. Any best friend of mine is most likely a gamer, so they’d want to see all the beach spots that were copied in Grand Theft Auto 5. They’d break their neck seeing all the familiar spots they’ve been rampaging in GTA 5 for the last 8 years. We can hit the pier and 3rd street promenade to do some L.A. souvenir shopping. And finally I’d take them to a Dodger game or a Laker game, experience the majesty of Chavez Ravine and the house that Kobe built.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Any success I’ve had I owe directly to my family. My parents who have given me confidence with their blind faith in my abilities. My sisters and brother-in-law who supported me financially and emotionally through my most difficult times. And all my cousins, who have been like brothers and sisters to me. My journey on YouTube has been shared every step of the way with them. They’ve lifted me up and allowed me to lead the way.