In today’s world, it is so easy to get caught up in the negativity around us. As a society, we often forget that there is so much to be grateful for and so many reasons to Share the Love. I am so passionate about the Share the Love message because it is a reminder to do three things: have fun, give back and spread positivity. I use it to try to encourage others to do these things in their own communities. With the pressures of life, it can be easy to get in the trap of taking life too seriously, and if we committed to having more fun as a society, we’d be taking steps in the direction toward a happier way of life
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Sharer.
Stephen Sharer is one of the fastest growing social media personalities with a loyal fan base of over 8 million YouTube subscribers. Stephen is a leader in providing family friendly content with a positive message of “Staying Awesome” and “Sharing the Love”. Over the last two years, Stephen and his family have engaged over 3.5 billion viewers to over 600 viral videos of positive family fun. This popularity has led him to partner with organizations such as Hot Wheels, LEGO and Nickelodeon. In addition to his YouTube channel, Stephen has expanded into multiple other ventures, ranging from social media branding, advertising and eCommerce stores. His personal brand, StephenSharer.com, has grown into a physical product empire.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?
I like to think I grew up with a camera in my hand at all times. My sister Grace Sharer and my brother Carter Sharer both have incredible YouTube channels featuring awesome “Share The Love” content. Growing up in a household where spreading love through fun positive video content is a stellar experience. You’ll even see my mom featured in some of our videos as well. It was really a time for all of us to hangout and spend time together. I would say it brought us closer together and gave us a bigger purpose than just creating fun videos.
You are currently leading a social impact organization. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
I am looking to create an environment where people can demonstrate love to one another. The world can be filled with hateful words and comments especially on social media. My organization shares fun challenging games, goes on amazing adventures and provides positive uplifting entertaining content. The mission in all of my videos is to “Share The Love” and to uplift viewers with awesome videos, brighten their day, and help them remember that love is what brings people together in harmony.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
Content creation is something I’ve known my entire life. Since I was young I had a natural instinct to create and perform. I would spend hours conceptualizing stories with my friends and as I got older, I began winning awards from the comedic style videos which was truly what launched the Share The Love message. The more people I was able to inspire, the more I wanted to develop the message and create a brand around positivity. On a daily basis I receive positive notes from my fanbase of Sharers telling me how I have impacted their family with the content I create. I have now participated in 5 Make-A-Wish requests and it has been amazing to have that opportunity to create short videos for children and families going through a hard time. It really is amazing what a positive impact can have on someone.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
One of the things I have learned over the years is to never say I can’t. I have always been someone who is optimistic about everything I am faced with. It was really important to me to get this message of love out there and with YouTube, it’s an “always on” type of platform which means I am not only making a commitment to myself, but to my audience. So, that “Aha Moment” happened when I noticed that there weren’t a ton of content creators using their platform to make a difference in the world. The final trigger was my desire to be that missing voice as a place for families and people of all ages to be able to enjoy G-rated content, feel inspired to create, get out and explore and feel motivated after watching me.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
The first thing is believing in yourself. You will go through ups and downs especially as a content creator because the majority of your work is dependent on the viewers opinions. Next is to put a plan and process in place and always double check the steps in your process, no matter how simple or complicated they might be. Third, give yourself a timeline of actionable steps. A timeline of when and what things will be started and finished. This will keep you out of the big picture dreamland of what you want to achieve and keep you grounded to work the plan you made for yourself. Finally, have a team. You are only one person and while you may be able to do everything, you want to be focused on the expertise you are providing to the organization and hire other people who are very skilled at what they do so that you can accomplish things more efficiently and effectively.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
The response from fans has been the most interesting thing since starting my career as a YouTuber. The positive response and messages I receive every day from my fanbase of Sharers has been incredible. Whether it’s a drawing sent to me by a fan, or a tender-hearted message about how I positively impact their family every single day. I never could have predicted this response when I first began this journey.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
When I first started, I often was forgetting to hit record or not turning on the microphone. The things that come so naturally to me now were so foreign to me at first — imagine filming a whole vlog without any sound, or performing an entire epic scene or stunt without having ever started the recording. The lesson I learned from this mistake is always double check the steps in your process, no matter how simple they might be.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
My biggest mentors are my parents as they have always strived for me to be the best I can be. From the beginning, they have said “you are there for work” or “ you are at school to learn”, so you might as well spend your time and attention completing the opportunity at hand. By having that mindset, it has motivated me to do my absolute best and focus all my time and attention on each task at hand.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses, is a cause close to my heart because it truly embodies the “Share the Love” message. I have been lucky enough to meet several children through Make-A-Wish to help turn their wishes into reality. Most recently, I spent the day with James, a young boy living with Muscular Dystrophy who happens to be a huge fan. We had an epic day spent at the Sharer Family house where we explored in the woods, played with Nerf blaster, went to an arcade and even got to make a vlog together. The ability to put the “Share the Love” message into action and have a positive impact on kids and families like James’ makes the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of being a YouTube creator worthwhile.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
In today’s world, it is so easy to get caught up in the negativity around us. As a society, we often forget that there is so much to be grateful for and so many reasons to Share the Love. I am so passionate about the Share the Love message because it is a reminder to do three things: have fun, give back and spread positivity. I use it to try to encourage others to do these things in their own communities. With the pressures of life, it can be easy to get in the trap of taking life too seriously, and if we committed to having more fun as a society, we’d be taking steps in the direction toward a happier way of life. Then of course, it is obviously important to focus on is paying it forward and giving back to the community. In addition to that, spreading positivity is something that sounds so easy, but many of us forget to do. I’ve chosen to use my content to spread positivity, but anyone can take small actions like complimenting somebody, standing up to a bully, or even remembering to smile more, saying “Please” and “Thank you,” and appreciating people for what they DO versus focusing on the things they don’t…these things go a long way! They may seem like small steps individually, but put together we can create a tidal wave effect of sharing the love.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Always be yourself and surround yourself with people who support that.
Being in a big world every single day, it’s easy to feel pressure to be someone you’re not, and it’s easy to follow the wrong crowd. If you can focus on yourself, accept yourself for who you are, be your biggest supporter, you can accomplish so much.
2. “Enjoy the little things in life.”
My YouTube career took off extremely fast (I was one of the top 100 YouTube channels in the US). A lot of major milestones were accomplished that were beyond anything I could imagine. It’s important to take a step back and to make sure to reflect on every accomplishment, no matter how big or small they seem at the time.
3. Never Let Go of Your Dream
If you told me I would have a total of 9+ Million followers and fans around the world when I first started this as a kid, I wouldn’t believe you. I have been doing this for years and have never given up on myself or my audience. If I can achieve my goals and dreams, anyone can. The best part about this consistency, is it’s just getting started for me.
4. Build a Brand Your Proud of
Creating a community surrounding a particular topic is not an easy thing to do. With a brand, it makes it much simpler because it gives people to visually identify with. When they see your logo, color scheme or face anywhere, they automatically have an emotional experience. That emotional experience is what you have to develop for your brand.
5. Never Forget to Have Fun!
Sometimes the business side of what you do can get in the way of the reason you got started in the first place. This is why it’s important to have a team of people supporting you so you don’t have to deal with the things that separate you from doing the thing that brings you joy in your organization. Though if you are wearing multiple hats, you have to remember why you are doing what you’re doing and remember to have fun with it because that purpose will continue to drive you to accomplishing your goals.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
I would say to them, don’t you feel better when you see positivity in the comments? If you could be that someone who makes another person’s day, or bring them a smile, why not? It doesn’t cost you anything. I believe that once you practice spreading love, you will become a person who gets love back.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Taylor Swift is one of the most influential people for me. It is amazing how she transitioned genres while not just maintaining, but growing a multi-generational audience. On top of that, she is a marketing genius, an incredible businesswoman and, most importantly, she always gives back. She is a strong believer in herself, connects with her fans often and is very involved with her family.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me on Youtube and Social Media here:
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!