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How Lilly SIngh became the world's highest-paid female YouTube star!

January 12, 2018 07:45 IST

YouTube sensation iiSuperwomanii is No 10 on Forbes magazine's 2017 list of the highest-paid YouTube stars and the only woman to break into the top 10.

She reveals her secret.

Lilly Singh iiSuperwomanii

Lilly Singh, aka iiSuperwomanii, has more than 13 million YouTube subscribers.
Photograph: @iisuperwomanii/Instagram.


Lilly Singh, or the YouTube sensation we all know and love as iiSuperwomanii, climbed the ranks last year to earn the No 10 position on Forbes magazine's 2017 list of the highest-paid YouTube stars. She is also the only woman to break into the top 10.

The distinction in a year like 2017 made her reflect on her success.

She wrote on Instagram, 'It feels surreal to be on the @forbes list again. Thank you for your support.

'I'm so grateful that my passion has become my career and that I'm excited to wake up every morning to tell stories.

'There was a time in my life when I felt like a robot without any real spark or desire. I went to school. Worked a job. Watched TV. Went to bed. Until one day I decided I didn't want to live in a template. I worked really hard not only on my craft, but also on my soul and mind...

'One of the many things I've learned on this journey is that I can (and should) be bigger than myself. And for that reason, I want to address that last year there were many more females on this list. Although I am honoured to be featured, I am truly disheartened to be the only one this year.

'One of the things I love most about the digital space is its ability to create a new path that is unrestrained by systematic power and tradition. Just something to think about as we witness firsthand how rapidly this platform is changing and the direction being taken. I for one would be heartbroken if this platform followed a path lacking equal opportunity.

'Congrats to everyone on the list and to all of my sisters who should be on the list because I see y'all with your Uber LUXs. Keep fighting the good fight.'


Lilly Singh iiSuperwomanii

Will Smith did a video with Singh before the release of his Netflix film Bright.
Stars -- from both Bollywood (like Madhuri Dixit and Priyanka Chopra) and Hollywood (like Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron) -- regularly appear on her YouTube channel.
Photograph: @iisuperwomanii/Instagram.


In a video soon after, Singh -- who just hit the 13 million subscriber mark on her YouTube channel -- revealed her thoughts on success and hoped others would 'gain some inspiration from it.'

It's not all about the money

On the Instagram post, she had written, 'It's not all about the money, but moments like this do leave me feeling proud because I remember the hustle that birthed them. I'm not here because I've been chasing cheques. I'm here because I've been chasing growth. Being one of the highest paid creators is a cool achievement (and admittedly a little strange) but if I'm very honest, the real riches come from personal evolution.'

In the video, she elaborated, 'I say no to a lot of brand deals. I say no to a lot of events if it doesn't speak to me. And I am grateful to be in a position where I can do that because I know not everyone is.

'One of the things that you should really focus on -- and I am humbly giving you this advice and you don't have to take it -- is more than the riches. You should be chasing growth because when you grow as a person you will see that naturally opportunities start attracting themselves towards you. Success and happiness will be attracted towards you.

'What I tell people [is] my success is not only because I taught myself how to edit videos, taught myself how to be on camera, taught myself how to use the camera, taught myself how to write... Those are very important, yes, but it's also because I taught myself how to be uncomfortable. I taught myself how to step out of my comfort zone.

'I taught myself to be honest with myself. Not the type of honest where I am like, 'Oh yeah, I know, I didn't do this. I am not good at it.'


'You're scared. You're making excuses. What did you do instead of working hard at this thing? I really had to address my fears, my insecurities.

'Yes, I learned how to make videos that have ads on them to make money, but more than anything I learned how to evolve as a person -- in the most honest way possible.

'And that is my message to you. When you see people with success and money, don't automatically be like 'they are just really good at that thing and got opportunities'. Yes, but why?

'Personal growth over everything.'

Be bigger than yourself

Once again, elaborating on her post, she spoke about how instead of being thrilled about being the only female among the Top 10 earners, she was upset.

She said that last year when she made it to the Forbes list she had hoped that this year she wanted a woman -- 'I don't even care if it's not me' -- to be No 1 on the list.

She said, 'I would hate for the YouTube space to become what traditional Hollywood is... because we are on such a trajectory to be unique and create our own path... It's gotta be a platform of equal opportunity.'

Have pride in your accomplishments

Singh also spoke about how she learned how to not be awkward about talking money.

She said, 'I am going to say this and know that men are going to roll their eyes -- I hope you don't. Especially as women, we are taught to not talk about these accomplishments. We shy away from talking about money. But I am proud.

'I have made the Forbes list, and I am proud.'

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau