It’s been five years since Braydon McAndrew (‘18) walked across the stage at Calgary Academy, diploma in hand.
His life has taken a drastic turn since then, with Braydon moving on from his job as a gymnastics coach towards a future in social media content creation.
Finding a TikTok Audience
A self-proclaimed “unfocused student,” Braydon wondered what life after graduation would look like. He didn’t see himself attending university in the future—he was interested in entrepreneurship.
One day in his final year of school, Braydon attended a lecture held by a guest speaker at CA. The speaker detailed their current career, car detailing, and how they worked independently. The speaker made money doing something they loved.
While other students enjoyed the lecture (or goofed off with friends), Braydon was engrossed—quickly pulling out his phone to take notes. To Braydon, this speaker opened his eyes to future possibilities.
“When those motivational speakers came in, I took notes because I was interested in business. That’s one thing about Calgary Academy that inspired me.” – Braydon
Braydon worked as a gymnastics coach full-time after graduation, teaching and supporting kids of all ages. When COVID-19 spread throughout Canada, he found himself without a job and with a lot of time on his hands. With his passion for social media, Braydon began posting videos on TikTok.
One of his videos (ironically discussing “three ways to blow up on TikTok”) eventually hit over 500,000 views. His storytelling videos continued to reel in viewers—he has now reached billions of views across various profiles. Looking back, Braydon describes this experience as addicting—driving him to work harder.
“You gain a bunch of followers, tons of comments, and then you just think: ‘how do I do this again?’ Instead of just hitting 500,000 views, how do I hit 5,000,000?”
While the views validated the work Braydon had completed thus far, he wanted to start a career. In the social media game, followers don’t always equal profit. While posting doesn’t bring in a steady income, creating a partnership can.
After receiving several offers to help promote an app, Braydon decided to try it out.
“I eventually did one ad promotion for a game. In 24 hours, I made a good amount of money. It was around half my yearly salary as a gymnastics coach from one video.”
Taking the Next Step Forward
While he enjoyed being in front of the camera, Braydon realized he could have a future working behind it. With help from his business partner, Braydon is connecting with and supporting other content creators.
Whether it’s setting up Snapchat shows or partnering with creators, Braydon and his team are helping creators shine. When working with content creators, they receive approximately 50% of the total revenue from videos.
“We do deals where we get a percentage of their YouTube channels and other income streams… We help them grow and make money. It’s a win-win for both parties.”
Braydon is happy with his current success but looks forward to building his career. He believes confidence is essential for anyone pursuing their dream—whether someone just graduated school or is looking for a career change.
“If you have a dream, don’t let people hold you back… Don’t give up, because lots of people do when they come across one roadblock. If you keep pushing through, you’ll find success.” – Braydon
With Braydon’s work ethic, he’s confident he’ll reach his goal in the future—selling a successful social media company.