On Today’s episode, author and YouTuber Julie Borowski comes on to talk to Brittany and Connor about her new book, “Nobody Knows How to Make A Pizza.”
Here is the transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi Connor.
Connor: Hey Brittany.
Brittany: So today we are lucky to have a very special guest, Julie Borowski, who is both an old friend of mine and also the author of The Amazing Kids’ book. Nobody knows How to Make a Pizza. So Julie, welcome to the podcast. We’re so happy to have you.
Julie: Hey, thanks for having me on.
Brittany: Of course.
Connor: Brittany, I’m, I’m excited about this because I’m often asked, Okay, I got The Tuttle Twins books for my kids, what else is there? And so there’s a whole nother book. It’s great.
Brittany: There’s a whole other book. So Julie, do you wanna tell us a little bit about your book?
Julie: Sure. So as you said, it’s nobody knows how to make a pizza. And I wanted to write a children’s book for a long time because a lot of parents came up to me and said that their kids like, watching me on YouTube. And I was like, Huh, that is so cool. It wasn’t meant for kids, but I guess some, I have kind of a goofy personality, so I have all these kids’ fans. So I was like, Huh, I wanna do something for the kids and I don’t wanna write a super political book. I, it is kind of creepy. So I was like, Huh, I wanna talk about economics, but I don’t wanna be preachy. I wanna make a fun book that educates kids about economics. What can I do? Well, I thought Leonard Read’s I Pencil is one of my favorite essays. It talks about how many people are involved in making one pencil.
Yeah, that’s a really easy, really awesome story that kids will understand and learn from, but maybe mix it up a little bit, something that kids may enjoy even more. And I thought, well pizza, almost every kid loves pizza, so let’s do a simple cheese pizza. Every kid’s like, Huh, that’s really simple and easy to make just a pencil. They think it’s easy to make, but you have to think about all the people involved in making a pizza, millions of people from all over the world. And there’s no central planner. So it kind of talks about goes through how to make a pizza and it just includes just a couple of people involved throughout the story. So it teaches kids about the division of labor, spontaneous order, and all that economic jargon. But in a fun kind of silly book, there’s even a fart joke that I squeezed in there about cutting the cheese. A lot of boys, a lot of dads said the boys like that one. So it’s fun, it’s educational and I’ve had a lot of people who bought the book for their relatives and they said their relatives liked it too. So it’s not just like, oh, for only libertarians or only conservatives is, I really think it’s just kind of an educational book for kids about economics.
Connor: Now, Julie, one of the questions we get asked as children’s book authors is what age range is best? So for your book, nobody knows how to make a pizza, What is kind of the target age range?
Julie: So I have a two-and-a-half-year-old and he actually loves the book a little too much especially when he was a little bit younger. He would eat the books and tear out the pages. So I advise you for babies or two-year-olds, but probably I’ve had three-year-olds really like it. So I would say it’s probably younger than The Tuttle Twins. I would say three to six is probably the age range that we’re going for here.
Connor: That’s great. And let me ask, you kind of built a name for yourself. As you mentioned with your YouTube channel, you’ve put out a lot of videos over time, why you have an interesting format too. You use a little bit of satyr. And so how have you found it effective to try and teach people or persuade people? What kind of approaches have you taken in doing your videos and now even your book and trying to get the message across to other people?
Julie: I would say I’m a very to-the-point person. I feel like a lot of people who have the same ideals as me, like to write long essays or do hour-long, videos of them talking. I like my videos to be five minutes or less, just to the point, here’s my opinion, this is why I think this and I like to make it a little bit more interesting. Whereas sometimes I wear costumes or sometimes I tell jokes and I kind of lighten the mood. I was watching a lot of YouTube videos back in 2010, and 2011, and I kind of copied their formats and kind of short to the point videos. I think those tend to get shared more often on social media because people want really concise information. So that’s what I do.
Brittany: So one thing, Julie, that I would like you to tell our listeners about is how you got started in all this. Cause it’s been goodness over 10 years now I think. But how did you get started making YouTube videos, what led you to do that, and why you’re still making them today?
Julie: Sure. So I found out about libertarianism in 2004 when I was in high school. I took the world’s smallest political quiz online. It said I was a libertarian, Googled that, and I was like, Huh, that’s pretty cool. These are my political beliefs. But I didn’t know really what to do with it. And it wasn’t until 2007 I found out about Ron Paul on Facebook. I was in a Republican’s against the Patriot Act Facebook group or something like that, and someone said, Google, Ron Paul. So I did and then yeah know, it was kind of all history from there, but I got into the Ron Paul campaign on Facebook and all this kind of stuff. And at the time I was actually an elementary education major. I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and someone was like, Why don’t you be a political science major because you’re so political.
Cause I was just spamming my Facebook and my space actually page back then. And I was like, huh, but I don’t wanna be a politician. I don’t wanna be in the government or anything. And I kind of found out about The Cato Institute in DC, and Libertarian think tanks. I was like, that’s what I wanna do. Well, I applied to The Cato Institute maybe five or six times and they turned me down every time. So I’ve actually found out about Freedom Works. I had very limited knowledge about them, but I was like, okay, limited government free markets. That sounds like me. And they took me on as an intern and I got hired there as a staff writer. And then I started making YouTube videos actually after I got hired in 2011. And it is kind of a weird story because I was a big round Paul supporter and my boss actually asked me to do a TV interview for him one time about Ron Paul because he couldn’t do it.
And I was like, Huh, I don’t wanna be on TV. This sounds like an amazing opportunity, but I’m so scared that I’m going to just poop my pants live on national TV. But actually, I didn’t get the interview because the producer came back to my boss and said, Okay, this Julie girl, she seems cute. That was her words, but we don’t have any videos of her talking or anything, so we’re not gonna put this random 22-year-old girl on our news. So I was like, Huh, okay, maybe to advance my career, I need to put out videos online. That was kind of I wasn’t trying to be a YouTube person. I was like, I need to put videos to send to these producers to show that I could be on TV to talk about Ron Paul. So I started a YouTube channel about Ron Paul in 2011 and it’s been a while.
Connor: And so it must have been at some point when you decided that the videos weren’t any longer for that purpose, where you started dressing up in costumes and crazy makeup. That part came later.
Julie: So I started in 2011, I started just kind of doing well. They were not of professional quality, but me being professional as in I would write our blog posts for Freedom Works and then I would do my blogs as videos and post them on my own channel. And FreedomWorks have anything to do with it. It was actually, they did not know about it. At first. It was just me on my own doing this kind of video. But it wasn’t until later I showed a little bit more of my personality and people really liked that. And I was trying to separate myself because as a young girl or female, whatever I am a lot of people would say, Oh, you know, must have a boyfriend writing your videos for you, or they must just put you in front of the camera. I was an actress or something. And that really bothered me because I did everything by myself. So I was like, you know what? I need to be a little bit different and more than just a talking head. So I kind of did some jokes and you did silly stuff and I can do facial expressions people. So I kind of realized that I kind of wanted to be different than everyone else, and I think I accomplished that maybe a little too well at times.
Connor: It’s interesting you mentioned Julie, that you were looking into doing elementary education earlier on and now kind of full circle, you’ve got this book for kids. Why do you think, this is a question I get a lot I’d love to ask you and get your thoughts. Why do you think it’s important to teach economic or civic or political ideas to younger children?
Julie: Well, I think they already are being taught that in public schools. I know I was definitely taught that more of the government civic education schools, but tends to be more one-sided. And a lot of people say, Oh, are you trying to indoctrinate kids by writing this book? And well, no, I’m trying to educate kids. And I feel like a lot of times in public schools it is more indoctrination where they only tell one side of the story. I want to tell the other side of the story here, Here’s free market economics and I don’t want kids to only read my book. That’s the only book that gonna ever read. I want kids to be exposed to different viewpoints and really learn how to think, not what to think. I want them to develop critical thinking skills. So I want them to say, Oh, I read this book, and Okay, what did we learn? Did there any questions? Challenge my thinking a little bit. I like that. As opposed to, oh this book is right. I want kids to be exposed to different viewpoints because they need to be taught how to think. That’s definitely going to help them in the future. So yeah, it is important to talk to kids as early as possible to get them exposed to here. Here’s the other side of the story,
Brittany: Julie, back in the day, I remember your YouTube handle, I think it might still be it was Token Libertarian Girl. I know you’ve talked about this before, but we might not have had a whole lot of girls in the movement or females in the movement back in the day. But do you think that that’s changed now as you’re looking at this 10-plus years later?
Julie: Yeah, I do think there are a lot more women that I see on social media conferences. I’ve seen more women coming out. I think there are a lot more women involved than people seem to think. I think when you look at the quote Libertarians, it tends to be mostly men. And I feel like that’s kind of just the male personality to put themselves out there. I’m not trying to offend anyone here, but I just think that men put themselves, here’s what I think. Here’s my opinion. I’m going to start a podcast, I’m going to write a book. I am very wise, I’m going to tell you what I think. Right? It’s kind of like the very confident personality types tend to be more men where I think women, I don’t wanna say they’re shyer about sharing their opinions, but they’re more likely to, oh, let me organize this conference type of thing.
When I deal with a lot of conferences, almost all the time the organizer is a woman. So there are women involved in the movement, but maybe they take a different position. They may be the treasurer of a group, or they may be the organizer of a group, but they’re not the ones on that stage where men are more likely to take the microphone and tell you what they think the type of personality. So I think it is kind of a personality difference why there are not that many women off front and center. But we do have a lot more libertarian women in the movement than it seems at times.
Connor: Julie, we have done a number of episodes about the importance of entrepreneurship and talking to kids about the benefits that come from starting a small business and all the things that you can learn. And so you might say in a few ways, you know, have a YouTube channel I’m guessing that you know, can earn a little bit of money from that. And you’ve been one of the kinds of top affiliates, for Tuttle Twins, right? Sharing that and making some money that way. You’re an author now and so you’re selling books, but you also started an awesome company, Liberty Junkies. So I want you to talk a little bit about entrepreneurship. What, so what is Liberty Junkies, and then do you see yourself as an entrepreneur and what kind of lessons have you learned along the way that might be useful to the kids out there?
Julie: Yeah, I do a lot of stuff. I’m actually mostly a stay-at-home mom, so it’s really important for me to make my own money on my own terms. Whereas most jobs these days aren’t that flexible for parents. Most jobs are nine to five in the office. Hopefully coronavirus and be one positive thing. It’s may change that a little bit, but I want to be with my kids and see them grow up and be an extremely flexible schedule. So I did start my own business and I sell a lot of shirts and mugs and all kinds of things on my website and I designed everything myself. So I had no idea how to design anything, but I wanted it to be from me. I’m kind of like, I want everything to be my own ideas. I don’t wanna hire anyone else to pretend to be me online or anything.
I know some people do that, but I kind of learned how to design all this stuff. So you look, there’s a lot of stickers and all kinds of things and there’s really kind of fun and silly libertarian-ish ideas. But yeah, I wanted to start my own money because I think I can want to raise my own son and my own kids at home and have that financial freedom. We talk a lot about freedom, but financial freedom is so important. I don’t wanna be dependent on anyone. I wanna go out and buy my own things and not have to ask somebody’s permission, my spouse’s permission, can I go buy this with your money? I wanted to have my own money, but I wanna spend time with my children. So yeah, I have a YouTube channel that makes a little money, but I also have libertyjunkies.com where people can buy things from me.
So it is kind of me contributing to my financial freedom, which is so important. And I guess I am an entrepreneur, it seems like, I guess kind of weird for me to say, but lessons I’ve learned along the way. Oh gosh, I think patience, is a big one. When people don’t buy things right away to kind of like, okay, let’s go back to the drawing board and see what we can do differently as opposed to just saying, Oh, screw this, I’m done. So patience, perseverance, and just keep trying. You’re probably not going to get the right thing right off the bat. So I try different designs and upload things and eventually sometimes you get it and it’s an awesome feeling. But yeah, keep trying, keep trying.
Connor: I think that’s a great message for youth because you’ve had to learn a lot along the way. I mean maybe graphic design and e-commerce and web development. And there are a lot of things when you become an entrepreneur that you know have to wear many hats. Brittany, you’ve talked about this before as well, about just how you’re having to learn all kinds of new things. I think that’s kind of admirable and it really shows a real face of what you have to learn and stumble through if you’re trying to figure out how to become an entrepreneur.
Brittany: Absolutely. And it’s like, I think you and I talked about this, I’m not an accountant, but you have to learn how to be an accountant and learn how to invoice and do all this stuff. So I think you’re absolutely right.
Connor: Julie, what kind of parting message would you give? You teach a lot. Your content I think is family-friendly. That’s why a lot of kids have watched your videos. They’re kind of silly and maybe they don’t understand all the references and things that maybe the adults will. But what, maybe let me ask you the question this way as we conclude here. What kind of drives you, what’s your motivating reason by now many years later doing these videos and doing the book and doing Liberty Junkies? I mean, knowing you, it’s not just about making money as great as that is, as you just mentioned, having other streams of income. What, what’s motivating you to do all this?
Julie: I do like to see people’s messages. They send me even when I first started YouTube in 2011, as you said, I would get messages from kids and their parents talking about how they watched my videos. And I think just making people happy is really something really cool. Oh, I made somebody’s day better by watching something that I did. A lot of parents send me pictures of their kids reading my books and that’s really cool. And they say, Oh, this is my kid’s favorite book. They make me read this book every night To them. I think that’s really cool. And one thing, since becoming a parent, I’ve kind of said on Twitter today, it’s kind of made me less of an a-hole. I’m a lot of my content not in the lot, but maybe some of my content was more, Oh, let’s trigger the libs, let’s trigger liberals, let’s, mock people. And I think I’ve kind of ton that down since having a kid and realize, or trying to make people anxious or trying to make people stir up some emotions in people. I try to be a nice better person and hopefully by watching my content, it makes them happier, and maybe, hey, let’s strive to be a better person, a less angry person. Cuz I think there are a lot of libertarians who are quite angry.
Connor: And I think just the climate in general people are kind of, I think getting right
Julie: Now. Yeah.
Connor: Fatigued, Getting very fatigued with all the animosity and everything out there. So guys at the show note page for today head to tuttletwins.com/podcast. We will link to all of Julie’s content, on her YouTube channel. You can just go straight over liberty junkies.com. I mean, I even realized you’ve got stuff for babies now, like onesies and toddler stuff. I have
Julie: All these kids a kid’s clothes. Oh, I actually made a line called Boys’ Role. Since I have a son. I’ve noticed that there’s not a lot of boy empowerment stuff, so I even have That’s great.
Connor: Yeah, you, you’re becoming an empire over there of Liberty-friendly merch, so check it out. Julie, thanks for joining us.
Julie: Thank you for having me.
Connor: All right, Brittany, that was, I think a great episode. Really good to see a kind of entrepreneurship in action. Yeah, and especially the book too. As a children’s book author myself, I’m like, We need way more people out there doing stuff like this. So super fun. Until next time, we’ll chat with you later. Guys, remember to head to tuttletwins.com/podcast and Brittany will see you next time.
Brittany: Talk to you next time