Eniola Olanrewaju, popularly known as Korty EO, rose to fame seemingly overnight. With over 170,000 YouTube subscribers at the time of our chat, she has found a way to capture the attention of young Africans globally with her quirky and relatable shows.
Today on How I Work, Korty EO talks about her career journey, how she really feels about working, her obsession with making progress, however small, and her simple-yet-effective hacks for getting things done.
Current role: Indie filmmaker and YouTuber
Current computer: Macbook pro
Current mobile device: iPhone
Describe how you work in one word: Sporadic
Tell us briefly about your career journey and how you got where you are today
I'll say my journey has been ruthless, because I've just done a lot of things. Even when I had a lot of doubt in my chest, I just did what I felt like I should do. And I think that has its downsides and upsides because while you’re doubting yourself, some other people are seeing it as an inspiration.
But I can’t really say “this is specifically how my journey has gone,” I just know that every time from when I was in the university, I was working; even when I was in secondary school, I was working. I've never had a point when I was not doing anything.
What does your work entail? Walk me through a typical workday.
There’s no typical day. Presently, for example, I'm talking to you from a café because that’s where I’m working from. If you called me yesterday, I'd probably be sleeping. I don't have a structured pattern of working. Maybe when I had a nine to five, I'd have been able to answer this question properly.
I’m not static. One thing that I have noticed so far is that if I want to do something, once I can hold on to the thought and say “okay, this is the thing I want to achieve,” then every single day in tiny bits, I'm working towards it. It might not be obvious, even to me, but in tiny bits I'm actively working towards it.
Basically, I'm always thinking about my progress. It's like an obsession. And it doesn't have to be something that I shove in people's faces but it's always on my mind. Even when I'm not trying to put in 100 percent, I still put in a percentage. So there's no pattern, I just know that I'm always trying to make progress even if it’s very small -- even if it’s 0.1.
Beyond trying to work things out in your head, what does your work typically entail on a given day?
It entails editing, filming, communication with people, having meetings like this, and being present when people need me. More people work with me now, so I am taking more of a managerial role, trying to make sure that people are giving the best quality. It’s harder than you just doing the work because you have to get people to reach the quality you want. That's pretty much my day; filming, editing, making sure the work is good with other people, and trying to make money.
What apps, gadgets or tools can you not do without? Let’s start with apps.
Oddly enough, I really like Pinterest because it helps strengthen my imagination. I would say YouTube but that might be obvious; but before I started YouTube, I never really used to be on YouTube like that.
I guess maybe Spotify because I like music. And this one I'm forced to check, my email. I hate it so much, but I’m forced to check it.
Recently, I started trading. I never used to be into crypto but now BuyCoins has arrested me, so I am constantly opening the app to see what’s going on.
What about gadgets?
I don't have a lot of gadgets, just my computer and my phone. We have a VR headset in my house, but I barely use it.
What's your favorite shortcuts or hack for getting things done?
I actually learned this one from somebody at Zikoko. What I do most times is to make sure I can see everything in my head. So, if that means writing on a board or a book, I just have to make sure I can see everything that's happening in my head so that I know, ‘okay we deal with this first, then move to this.’
But if there's no outlet, I would just continue adding things and won't be able to make progress. I don't know if it's a shortcut but it’s something that works for me.
What is a task that you dislike but still have to do?
I definitely hate checking emails. I don't like phone calls. Actually, that’s not true. I like phone calls sometimes, It depends on who. I was going to say, I don't like cleaning but I actually like cleaning, it clears my head.
In your creative process, from scripting and all of that, is there anything that’s just not fun for you?
I hate subtitling. I hate it so much but it also helps me sometimes because I can pay attention in detail to what the person is saying. And then I see certain things I initially missed and can decide to increase it or reduce or remove it, or whatever.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
Just basically putting down stuff. I also use Airtable to outline things I need to do and spreadsheets when I'm producing a video, so I can visualize it properly. I particularly like Airtable and Notion.
How do you recharge or take your break from work?
It’s hard to say because most of the things I'd like to use to recharge, you need to actually have money and sapa is a big problem in my life.
I recharge when I have money, simple as ABC. When I have money, I can travel more, I can go somewhere and put off my phone and stay for like a week and nobody will know where I am.
If I don't have money, it’s work till you drop – not till I drop obviously, but you get. And sometimes I have the money but I just can't afford to spend the money on ‘recharging.’
Besides work, what would you rather spend your time doing?
I don’t like working, so aside from work, I will do anything else. I feel like a lot of people think that I work hard and that I like to work. I really genuinely don’t like working.
I want to travel a lot, I want to eat new food and meet new people. I’ve worked all my life, so I just want to find something that will make me a sh*t ton of money and I will disappear and nobody will know where I am. But I have to do the work right now. If I had my way, I would not be working. I would be doing things I like as a hobby once in a while but I would mostly be traveling.
What are you currently listening to, watching or reading?
I've gone back to listening to Kanye West. I’ve just been listening to all his albums. I don’t know what he has done to me but for the past five days, I’ve just been listening to Kanye back to back.
Okay, what are you watching?
I was supposed to start watching Love Death + Robots but I just have so much work, I don’t really have time to watch movies.
Are you reading anything?
I’m currently reading this book my friend gave me called Unlearning. I’m reading all the things I’ve written in the past. I write stuff a lot so I’ve been going back to read all of the stuff I’ve written over the years.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I wouldn't call this advice, I would just say it’s something I picked up from having good home training because I know that it has helped me in my journey so far. It's just your attitude, having a good character, respecting people, young or old. Not because you are seeking help, but because it makes people feel good and there’s nothing wrong in making people feel good.
Also, a lot of times, we are consumed with what is going on in our lives, like “oh, I'm depressed, I'm sad.” You’re so consumed by it that you can’t really see how that is affecting the people around you. So if you are in such a situation, just try to do nice things for people and you’ll feel better – except you’re a horrible person.
I guess just respecting people. I've seen it open doors for me that I didn't even know because I wasn't trying to consciously respect people, I was just being respectful because my mother raised me to be respectful. Not fake respectful too because obviously, it gets to a point where if you are taking advantage of me, I will disrespect you.
What is a problem you are still trying to solve?
I’m learning how to work with people. That’s something that was very difficult for me but I'm definitely learning how to work with people, because I can't keep doing everything myself.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Nasty C and Angelina Jolie or Zendaya. One of those people.