By Madeleine Post, Staff Writer
What is Blimey Cow, exactly?
Josh Taylor is the cofounder of Blimey Cow, an online media enterprise creating video and audio content. Blimey Cow is also the name of the group’s YouTube channel — the place where their increasing popularity took root. Josh runs Blimey Cow together with his wife, Kelli, and brother, Jordan, all of whom play fun and creative roles in the group’s YouTube videos. These millennial entrepreneurs worked together to produce content that speaks to many age groups today — Blimey Cow has near 80,000 subscribers. So how did these young entrepreneurs do it? Read highlights from my conversation with Josh or listen to the interview in its entirety!
GY: So how did Blimey Cow get started?
Josh: We started in 2005 — that was when it started to be feasible to post videos online on YouTube and other websites like that, and so we started making home video-style stuff. I was a big fan of The Office. Back then, that show had just started in the United States, and so we started making “mock-umentary” style stuff, similar to how The Office was doing.
We did that for a few years, and then I started college and Jordan was getting reading to start high school. We kind of dropped off for a while and didn’t really do very much after three or four years of making videos pretty consistently. But then after I got married in 2010 and Jordan had started College, I quit my 9-5 job at a local TV station. I was... looking to get back into video stuff.
My brother Jordan was the main person helping me with the channel. I was like, “do you think we could do a show once a week?” I kept begging him to let us do it and he finally agreed. We started doing the show Messy Mondays in the fall of 2011.
In the winter of the very beginning of the next year, one of our videos kind of blew up. It was about homeschooling, called 7 lies about homeschoolers. All of a sudden, we had a bunch of subscribers. That video got about one million views in the first month. It was crazy. We had a ton of people who were watching what we were doing, and it was just really nuts.
Since then we’ve worked on other projects. We’ve done podcasts, too. The majority of what we still work on is that show, Messy Mondays. We try to keep it fresh and keep it fun because people seem to keep liking it.
GY: What made you switch from a typical 9-5 to more entrepreneurial pursuits?
Josh: I’ve always had that inclination. Any time I came up with a way to make some money on the side, that made me really excited. I guess that was the “entrepreneurial bug” that they talk about. But when I quit working my 9-5, I was still working from home. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2015 that I began to focus full time on Blimey Cow, because we were starting to bring in enough money that we could do that.
I’m definitely attracted to that risk of not knowing where my next pay check is going to come from. I mean, sky’s the limit. I can make as much money as I want to. There are people who look at entrepreneurship as not their jam, but for me I can’t imagine working a salaried job or a set number of hours. That would just drive me crazy. I was ready to do my own thing.
GY: Would you point to that “entrepreneur bug,” as well as that element of risk, as your primary motivations for keeping Blimey Cow alive?
Josh: They kind of go hand in hand, I suppose. The great thing about the Internet and making content for the Internet is that you don’t have to answer to anybody, and that’s the same thing as being an entrepreneur and working for yourself. If I’m not creating content — for example, during that time when we weren’t making videos, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life. I felt like I was just wasting my energy on things I didn’t care about.
GY: Is there a specific message you’d like to share with like-minded millennial entrepreneurs?
Josh: Be as consistent as you can with whatever makes you excited. I know that life kind of gets in the way of things that you’re working on. But no matter what your situation is, find a way to be in some way consistent about what you’re doing for two reasons: 1) You’ll go crazy if you don’t do that, and 2) That’s the only way that you’ll continue to improve your craft or your skill. Especially for creative entrepreneurs who have that anti-establishment or anti-authoritarian bug, I definitely think it’s important that you find ways to practice and to find ways to get better at what you’re doing through practical application.
GY: How do you think that anti-establishment mindset inspires entrepreneurs?
Josh: Anybody who likes to create things is doing so because there is an aspect of themselves that they want to put out there. With our videos, we’ll get feedback from people who say, “hey — you’re being overly critical” or “you should be kinder.” But I’ll respond saying no, this is me dealing with my own crap. That’s sort of a rebellion against myself, but there is always this rebellious spirit that rebels against an established system — which is a lot of what entrepreneurship is — and seeing a need in a market and saying “I can do that better and capitalize on it.”
I’ve always grown up with that mentality that says I’m making money, but not providing any value to the world. But as I get older, it’s really important that creative people find ways to express themselves because in 100 or 200 years, people are going to look back at the writing and art of our era. Whatever era you’re talking about, it’s like, "what were thinkers writing about?"
Stay updated on what the Blimey Cow team is up to!
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, @BlimeyCow, and (of course) subscribe to their YouTube channel. You can also check out Kelli’s Blog, She Learns As She Goes, and read about Jordan’s up-and-coming music artistry.