Michael Le wants to be a mogul.
And with over 40 million followers on TikTok, he's well on his way.
While many popular TikTokers “blow up” overnight, it took Le years. He said, "I've been on here for five years. I was one of the first Instagram dancers. I was on YouTube. It was a lot of a grind. Even in high school, I would take classes for videography and photography. So, I became my own one-man team."
Initially, his videos didn’t do well. He was making dance videos, while everyone else was making lip synching ones.
Le said, "But once September 2019 hit, I saw other influencers do things on the app that I could relate to, like dance videos. And that first weekend I hopped on, I gained one million new followers. But I wasn't taking it seriously because I wasn't making any money at TikTok. It wasn't until the end of 2019 that I started to take it seriously."
According to a recent Forbes list, Le was the sixth highest paid TikToker in the world, earning $1.2 million a year. When I asked him where that money came from, he said, "About 60% comes from brand deals, 30% promos from labels and 10% comes from various sources."
He started the Shluv House earlier this year. It's a content house that includes four other founders, including his nine-year-old brother, Jonathan.
The biggest TikTokers are predominantly young white teens, so it’s refreshing to see The Shluv House become successful. Le said, "I've always been cool with all sorts of people, in a sense. I just always liked including as many people as I can in my videos."
His family frequently appears in his videos and he is transitioning to more family content.
Le said, "Shluv is my brand of self-love. I want it to be where every time you hear Shluv, you think of me. Shluv Family is just a branch of me. They can build off of me until they can do what they want to do on their own."
Le's Mom, Tina, has 3 million followers on TikTok and his sister, Tiffany, has 1.3 million followers. His younger brother, Jonathan, had over 9 million followers but TikTok removed his account because of FTC regulations.
Le said, "For me it's just Shluv. Whether it's my YouTube, my Shluv clothing, if I do a Shluv island; I just want to brand everything Shluv."
The fact that Le is taking on so many different business projects is no surprise. He’s been an entrepreneur from an early age.
Le said, “I've always been business minded. I knew from middle school that I didn't want to be a person that just had a nine one to five. I've always listened to Gary Vee, The Rock, Kevin Hart and listened to their success story, and how they work, and thought, 'Why would I waste time now?' I want to be good by 23, 25. I knew that it would take a lot of things that most people wouldn’t do."
With multiple projects going on at the same time, Le certainly isn't afraid of a little hard work.
He said, "I'm focused on my YouTube stuff. I'm starting multiple series on my YouTube channel. I'm doing “Shluv Gaming,” which is my gaming stuff. I'm doing “Shluv Vlogs,” where I'm doing the YouTube stuff. In a few weeks I'm building a giant Lego house and living in it. So, the crazy stuff that people don't expect. I'm doing a cooking show, which is called “Shluv My Taste.” It's in a sense a podcast/cooking show/mukbang, which will feature artists or large influencers. And then my pranks, with my little brother."
He is well on his way to achieving his goal of becoming a mogul.
Le said, “I just kept perfecting my craft and fast forward five years later; it's paying off. I just want to keep it going and not lose that opportunity.”