While most teens his age are still asleep, Nico Miguel (12) gets ready for work when the clock strikes 4:30 a.m. Donning his headphones and cracking his knuckles, Miguel clocks in for another day on the job: creating Minecraft content for his adoring fans.

Miguel, a YouTuber known to his followers as NotNico, creates daily videos about his Minecraft adventures along with his YouTube partner, a player known as Cash. From light- hearted skits to building challenges, the two film their gameplay together each morning.

“We record from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.,” Miguel said. “Because I have a free first period we’re able to do it.”

When the Falconer interviewed him last November, Miguel’s channel boasted 862,000 subscribers. Now, almost a year later, Miguel has over 4 million subscribers spread across his three main channels: NotNico, Nico and NicoBlox, a channel dedicated to Roblox content. According to Miguel, after having created only videos on his NotNico channel for five years, he created the new accounts last year because he needed a “fresh start.” With the Nico channel, he found a new niche.

“[The channel] is more for the younger audiences, and the videos are simpler, but they require more storytelling and less video editing,” Miguel said.

His channels demand a lot of work. While Miguel remains the “main visionary” of the videos, he has 45 employees who help with his Nico channel.

“The production of my videos mainly consists of video editors, script writers, builders and mod (the process of adding customizations to the game) developers,” Miguel said. “So nowadays, I don’t really do much besides record.”

Reflecting on his early days on YouTube, Miguel said being an individual creator is very different from having a large production team.

“I think nowadays I like [the recording process] a lot more because I have that infrastructure of a team and [I] have people relying on me,” Miguel said. “It keeps you more accountable and also makes you more successful because we have a bunch of people working toward the same goal.”

But his team has not only impacted the fluidity of his video-making process. According to Miguel, the expansion of his channels spurred his interest in the business world.

“At first, [my channel] was just a passion, and I really enjoyed making and recording videos,” he said. “But then it turned into more of a business because I wanted to pursue something that I would do for the long-run and also [use to get] into the ins and outs of how to run a business.”

Miguel hopes to pursue other business ventures in the future, but for now he plans to continue making Minecraft content. While he prefers not to disclose how much he makes from the monetization of his videos, the channels are helping Miguel “build the life [he] wants.”

“I see this as something that I can work on for the next five years, at least,” Miguel said. “Obviously YouTube personalities come and go, but I think I could definitely do it for the long-run because I’ve been [creating content] for so long.”

In terms of his ever-growing audience, Miguel remains unfazed.

“The size of my audience is pretty cool. When you actually think about it, it’s a big responsibility having that many people[watching you],” Miguel said. “But also, I’m grateful that I’m able to entertain that many individuals.”

Photos by Hope Dennis/Falconer

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