12 September 2019

ACV02: Focus on systems, not goals (Ali Abdaal, Doctor / Youtuber / Entrepreneur, Part 2)

Ali (twitter: @AliAbdaal; instagram: @aliabdaal) is a junior doctor who graduated from Cambridge University in 2018. Alongside his day job saving lives, he has a YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers and runs a business that helps students get into medical school. He also writes weekly articles about productivity, education and technology.

Ali and I talk about how he started 6med, as well as his system for growing his business and his Youtube channel


  1. Ignore the whole legal and financial side when starting a company. You don’t actually need to worry about it until you have some amount of success and people start noticing you; by which time hopefully you are making enough revenue to deal with these issues anyway. Keep things simple and focus on the product when you get started.
  2. Start with low expectations that you can meet. Instead of getting carried away with seemingly unachievable ‘goals’, double down and focus on ’system’. ’System’ is your pipeline by which you churn out your content or get work done consistently. System is what will eventually help you reach your goals.
  3. How to think about time and our use of it. It is never a case of ‘I don’t have time for this’, but rather ‘I don’t have enough motivation to do this’. We need to remember that fundamentally we all have control over our time, and it’s always a choice that we make to do what we most want to be doing at that point in time. This is incredibly empowering. We just need to be honest with ourself about our choices of how we spend our time and what matters most to us.


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