Back in March, I was binge watching YouTube and I came across a channel called Yes Theory. Some videos included: surviving in a foreign country with no money, turning their backyard into the highest rated restaurant in LA and convincing strangers to go skydiving. To most people, these challenges might sound impossible, but according to Yes Theory, people should face their fears in order to live their lives to the fullest.
The Yes Theory channel was started in Montreal in 2015 by four passionate individuals: Matt Dajer, Ammar Kandil, Thomas Brag and Derin Emre. They came together and completed a 30-day challenge, in which they each did things that they had never done before, while documenting their experience. They continued to make videos and recently, their YouTube channel hit three million subscribers.
About eight months ago, Zack Honarvar, a Wilfrid Laurier University alumnus, joined them as their manager. In an exclusive interview with Her Campus, he shared his experience. Honarvar graduated from Laurier in 2015 from the honors economics program. He knew even back then that he wanted to be an entrepreneur, so while at Laurier, he started a few of his own businesses to see what he could learn. He says, “those types of experiences have definitely shaped what [he does] now.”
Honarvar talked about what he learned in school that has helped him out throughout his career. Surprisingly, it’s not the knowledge that he got in classrooms; he says it is “the people that I’ve met, the connections that I’ve made and the social skills that I’ve built.” This is an important lesson, reminding current students to use their time at university to build connections and relationships in order to create a strong network for the future.
After graduating from Laurier, Honarvar began to work at Shopify, just down the street from the Waterloo campus. He met Yes Theory members because his job required him to travel to Los Angeles frequently, while helping him realize along the way that he wanted LA to be his homebase. The opportunity presented itself, and about nine months ago, Honarvar promptly relocated to LA and began his work with Yes Theory back when they had just over 300k subscribers.
Honarvar is responsible for the high level, financial side of the business and all the things that revolve around monetization. He says, “I handle brand partnerships, merchandising, I do a lot of high-level strategic planning in terms of what revenue streams we should look at, what kind of ways we should expand, where the business should go. And of course, I am always there for the guys as an ear to talk to when they need me for whatever the case may be.”
Working at Yes Theory is not a typical nine-to-five office job; all the members work really hard and their days never really end. When they wake up, they all usually try to do something active like swimming, running or surfing. Then they all try to meditate for up to thirty minutes and after, the day naturally starts to fill up with work.
Honarvar’s day mostly consists of meetings and calls with potential partners or brands that the team wants to collaborate with. He does occasionally help out with the production part of the videos as well.
Yes Theory members encourage their viewers to go outside their comfort zone. Zack Honarvar is no exception when it comes to promoting this motto. “Since joining the team, I think even quitting my job and moving to a new country to do this … in many ways that’s seeking discomfort,” says Honarvar. “I try to do whatever I can to continue to get out of my comfort zone, whether it’s a personal challenge that I set for myself and achieve off camera.”
During the interview, Honarvar said that creating videos for Yes Theory is not just to entertain viewers. Over the years, it has become a platform that inspires people to go outside of their comfort zones and live the most authentic and fulfilling versions of their lives. He mentioned a story about a stranger that they had made a video with who was inspired to call his biological father, who he had never spoken to before. “That was the moment for me where it was all right in front of me and not through videos,” says Honarvar. “We are really inspiring people to change the course of their lives and take the actionable steps that are necessary for growth and development.”
Most of the time, people struggle with deciding what they should do next, but often, all it takes is saying “yes” to the opportunities that present themselves. Honarvar says, “One thing that I wish I knew in university is that there are more ways than people think in which you can make a living out there than working for a company. Realizing that there is so much more out there in the world will lead to a much more creative outlook on how you can make your mark on this world.”