I left my banking job with a six-figure salary to become a full-time TikToker at 22. Here are 4 lessons I learned along the way.

DeAndre Brown has 579,000 TikTok followers.DeAndre Brown

  • At 22, DeAndre Brown quit his job in corporate banking to pursue his dreams.

  • He currently runs a full-time TikTok account and hopes to pursue a career in television.

  • This is the story of Brown’s transition from banking to content creation, told to Charissa Cheong.

This dit-to-say essay is based on a conversation with DeAndre Brown, and it has been edited for length and clarity.

I recently celebrated my 23rd birthday, and looking back on the past year, my life has changed dramatically.

At 22, I was the youngest person on my team at my job in consumer banking, earning a six-figure salary. [Editor’s note: Insider was unable to independently verify Brown’s former salary.]

In August 2021, I decided to create a TikTok account where I could talk about my experiences in the industry and help other young people looking to enter the world of business.

I called myself “corporate villain” on TikTok and posted comedic videos comparing how millennials and gen Z individuals function in the workplace. I now have 579,000 subscribers on the app.

Over time, I noticed I was making a lot of money from branding deals and partnerships, and it became harder to balance time at work with creating content.

On top of that, I felt that some people I worked with didn’t like me doing content about company life, and talking about my work on social media. When I started feeling unappreciated, I gave my two weeks notice and quit my job in early May.

I have since worked full time as a corporate influencer and hope this will help me pursue my dreams of being on TV.

Although it was a tough decision, the leap of faith taught me a lot about what it takes to pursue my dreams. Here are some of the biggest lessons I learned about moving from a steady job into an entrepreneurial role as an influencer.

Hiring someone to help me manage my finances gave me more confidence to deal with a constant lack of income

One thing I’ve learned while juggling my job in banking and my TikTok platform is that creating content can be extremely lucrative. There were certain times when I earned my entire annual salary in a single month through brand partnerships as an influencer. [Editor’s note: Insider was unable to independently verify Brown’s current income.]

I got to a point where I thought that if I wanted to quit my job, I would still be able to make a good living.

However, I also decided to hire a wealth manager who could advise me on how to save and what to invest in, and I would recommend to anyone else looking to make money through content creation from do the same.

The benefits of content creation can be really big for a month, but who’s to say the next few months are going to be as good? My wealth manager prepares and advises me for those pain points where fewer brands approach and it is more difficult to get out of them.

Listening to motivational podcasts has also helped me overcome the fear of uncertainty.

The lack of stability that comes with being an influencer has been the toughest challenge I’ve faced since leaving my job.

Not having certainty about what’s going to happen is scary, and it’s probably my biggest fear in life. Things can go very well for your platform in a minute, but everything can go wrong and people can stop watching your content.

I am a very religious person, so I believe in walking by faith and not by sight, confident that things will work out. Even outside of religion, however, I still think it’s important to believe that hard work and consistency will pay off, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

Listening to motivational podcasts is what helps me through the tough days when I doubt myself. Steve Harvey is one of my favorite podcast hosts, and in general I feel like hearing other people talk about their podcasting successes is a big push that helps me get back on my feet. mentally on the right track.

A strict schedule is essential to maintain a work-life balance

One of the best things about quitting my job is not having to work long office hours. Now that I’m self-employed, I can do what I want, when I want, but that can also have major drawbacks when it comes to making sure I’m on top of my workload.

Since I don’t work in an office, there’s no supervisor watching over me to make sure I’m on the right track. Instead, I had to learn how to manage my own time and plan a full schedule for myself using my Google Calendar.

I usually try to write out my schedule about a week in advance, making sure to leave time for hobbies and things I like to do, as well as meetings and work.

For example, every day I schedule time to walk my dog ​​and go to the gym in the morning, and I prioritized planning to start my day with bloated activities, so I’m not tempted to lie in all Morning.

Some people have less respect for me now, but I know I did the right thing

When I was still working in banking and introducing myself to new people, they always said they were impressed that I had such a good job at a very young age.

Now, when I introduce myself to people as a content creator, I feel like they generally have less respect for me.

However, I tend not to let that bother me because I know I’m still capable of making a lot of money as an influencer, and I can still sit in the same rooms with important people, because I develop relationships with brands and companies. in the corporate world who want to work with me.

I think my niche as a content creator who helps connect young people to the world of finance has helped me succeed because I can help brands speak to younger audiences.

I know I won’t be a full-time influencer forever, and I hope to work in TV one day, but I’m excited to see where the next few years and months take me.

For more stories like this, check out Insider’s Digital Culture team coverage here.

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Michael J. Birnbaum