Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Noah Kagan.
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Noah Kagan
Noah Kagan is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who seems to be born to be an entrepreneur.
Pure hustle muscle, flexing at its best is what he is about, mixed in with a huge amount of wanting to enjoy what he does.
And it seems to me that he managed to do just that too.
From starting in quite humble beginnings selling bed linen at Macey’s, Noah Kagan blossomed quickly to selling Popcorn from a stall in a shopping mall, and then working for some of the biggest most famous companies in the world.
And with a resume listing Microsoft and Facebook as companies that saw the drive that he had, and the ability to work tirelessly in a chaotic environment, the sky should have been the limit for him but life had other ideas.
When he was 24, he was hired as Facebook’s 30th employee.
How The Dots Started Joining Up
He joined the company when it was one year old; it had a few million users and was getting 50,000 new signups per day, and upon being offered employment he was given two salary options : He selected the one he wanted, and the stock options would have made him worth about $185 million today, however that was irrelevant as nine months later he was fired.
And although a kick in the teeth financially, this disappointment as we see time and time again on Join Up Dots could have turned out to be the best thing that had happened to him,.
He reassessed his dreams, performance and chosen path leading him now to being the Chief Sumo at AppSumo.com, an online provider of digital goods and tools such as the kind of apps, that can teach and educate on a wide range of subjects.
Amazingly as we found out o this podcast interview, it was originally created in one weekend using an outsourced team in Pakistan for $60.
He hustled and bootstrapped the company, eventually accepting limited outside funding, including a “staggering” $20.47 from his mother, Debra
And The New Vision That Inspires Noah?
So what made him realise that this was the thing that he should focus on?
And what is the different between the man he is today and the one that left Facebook quicker than he probably expected?
And how come he didn’t let me into the amazing resource he has developed called Sumome.com?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in todays Free podcast, with the one and only Mr Noah Kagan
Noah Kagan Show Highlights
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Noah Kagan such as:
How he believes we should target ourselves to break down the fear we feel by visiting sites like strangerchallenge.com and making ourselves uncomfortable !
How you have to start small, and then slowly get bigger to truly gain momentum in life!
Go where you enjoy. If you like using a service, then look about working with them, or taking what you like from them to create your own products!
How it’s so important to recharge the batteries and take the time to get yourself back to fully prepared to rock the world!
How the pre-sell concept is so vitally important to test out the potential of a new business. But is the part that so many people miss out on!
How To Connect With Noah Kagan
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Noah Kagan Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Good morning world and welcome to Episode 165 of join up dots Today’s guest is a man who seems to be born to be an entrepreneur pure hustle muscle flexing and its best is what he’s about, mixed in with a huge amount of wanting to enjoy what he does. And it seems to me that he managed to do just that too. I’m starting in quite humble beginnings sitting bed linen at Macy’s, he blossom quickly to setting popcorn from a store in a shopping mall, and then working for some of the biggest most famous companies in the world. And with a resume listing Microsoft and Facebook as companies that sort of drive it had any ability to work tirelessly in a chaotic environment. The sky should have been the limit for him, but life had other ideas. When he was 24. He was hired as Facebook’s 30th employee, he joined the company when it was one year old. It had a few million users and was getting 50,000 new signups per day that’s not bad at all. And upon being offered employment, he was given two salary options he selected the one he wanted and the stock options would have made him worth about 185 million today. However, that was irrelevant as nine months later, he was fired. And over kicking it financially. This disappointment as we see time and time again on join up dots could have turned out to be the best thing that has happened to him. He reassessed his dreams performance and chosen path. And it led him to now being the cheap Sumo app sumo.com and online provider of digital goods and tools, such as the kind of apps that can teach and educate on a wide range of subjects. And amazingly, he was originally created in one weekend using a team in Pakistan for just $60 he hustled and he bootstrapped the company eventually accepting unlimited outside funding, including this is a staggering loan $20 47 from his mother, Deborah. So what made him realize that this was the thing that he should focus on? And what is the difference between the man he is today, and the one that left Facebook quicker than he probably expected? And how come he didn’t let me into this amazing resources developed called Sumo me.com? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start join up dots the one and only Noah Kagan How are you know
Noah Kagan [2:40]
what an intro? Thanks David I’m, I’m good man. I’m just working my ass off today. So you are
David Ralph [2:45]
hustling? Still? Even even on a sort of Thursday afternoon, which now is Wednesday? What day is it? I’ve lost track of it is Wednesday afternoon. For the super successful isn’t Wednesday, but new Friday? Isn’t that when you start sort of easy off to the weekend? Or does it go in a different direction nowadays,
Noah Kagan [3:04]
it really just depends how much you hate your job. And,
you know, I think one of the tests I always kind of have that I found out for myself, I used to work at Intel in a cubicle probably similar to some of your listeners. And I and the two ways I knew I hate my job was on Sundays I during the daytime, I would just be dreading Monday, I’ll be like, Oh, I can’t believe I’m going to Monday coming or Monday. So that’s one test is just your Sunday tests and how you’re feeling. And then on Monday, the second test I started noticing are things I was aware of was how when I’m driving to work, so I’d be driving to work. And I just be like, I hate this, like maybe someone will hit my car and I’ll get an accident, I’ll make a million dollars and insurance and I’m going to work there anymore. And so I think the thing I would encourage people to do is really ask yourself, like, you know, people I think one of the questions people ask me and I don’t have a great answer for is what’s your work life balance. And I don’t think there really should be a balance, it should just be a blend, where I like, you know, some days I really work a lot because I’m super excited. And there’s other days where just going to take a take a break. And so I don’t work on a Friday, but I work my ass off on a Saturday. And one of my life passions is I love when people love their work, regardless of what it is. So I encourage everyone to kind of evaluate their work, quit, they need to or you know, just keep going with what they’re doing what they’re enjoying. Well, we got straight into the motivational bit because that is true, isn’t it? I know Richard Branson says that he doesn’t consider work or play. He just says it’s life. And if you wake up every day, and you’re doing stuff that is fulfilling you inspiring you, but you’re also making money at it. Well, that’s a good place to be. So you kind of feel like you’re there, or are you still on the journey to that utopia? Well, I think what Richard probably doesn’t, you know, when you’re already a billionaire, it’s a lot easier to spit out quotes, and everyone listens to you. I think what what probably doesn’t recognize is on that journey, no matter how much money you have, or how short it is, like, it’s still going to suck. And I think that’s kind of the neglected part is that it’s going to suck no matter what if you’re on the doing your your works purpose, or you’re doing a shitty job, there’s still gonna have ups and down days, the thing that I realized is that when I’m doing things that I truly believe in, and I and I call them no brainers, like, if I don’t get other people to buy what I’m selling, or use what I’m making, then I feel bad for them. And I think that’s a really good litmus test of what you’re doing. And so, you know, there’s some days where I get a good client, they’re using like Sumo me calm, which is our major product right now. And, you know, when I get a large customer, like, you know, art of manliness.com, or someone really big using it, like even your site on join up dots it’s like very fulfilling. And, you know, there’s other days where, you know, sites go down, or we have those bad days. But as long as that the overall purpose is clear, and then like you’re feeling fulfilled with that, it helps you really get through days where it’s low, as well as the days that are it’s hot.
David Ralph [5:47]
So how do you know what people want, because I’ll be honest with you, as I said, in the intro, Sumo me until a couple of days ago, I’d never heard of it. And I uploaded it to my site. And instantly, I thought, Wow, this is amazing. But the listeners out there, there is so much on building a website that most of us can’t be bothered about. And it’s the collecting emails, it’s knowing what people are clicking on. And to me, that’s too technical for me. So I’m, I knew that for months and months and months, I’ve been meaning to do it. But I just couldn’t be bothered, because it just seemed too big a job. And no one has created this little thing called Sumo me, which you literally download in seconds. And it’s got a really basic, do this, click fat, click fast move bit. And I like me, I thought this is good. I can follow this. And it’s up and running. And it has it’s one of those kind of little boxes that pop up. And you can put emails addresses in it collects. Our is good already. I haven’t really fulfilled its potential, but I already look at it and go, Noah, why is history Why is this for the world want you charging is because I certainly would pay for it because it’s taken a load of the horrible things that I’ve been meaning to do. And it’s dealt with them instantly.
Noah Kagan [7:11]
So your original question and a lot of people so a lot of people that listen to are they trying to start a business? Are they trying to grow a business? A little bit about? Yeah, well, let’s let’s take on both parts of that. So you’re asked like, you know, I’ve been able to work at some good companies and been able to do sales and eight figures. And, and I think what you have to do is really start simple. And I’ll give you very specific examples. I hate when people are like, Oh, just sell and find something people want. It’s like, Yeah, I know that. We all know that. But how do we actually do it? And so I think the two things that I recommend is most people have products or have services that people have always wanted to them, or they’ve always done well, but they’ve kind of neglected it. They’re good cooks, they’re good at organizing. They’re good at spreading the word. They’re good at making things they’re good at, like people are like, Hey, I really liked it when you did this. I had a friend who did it. He liked did a drawing of his life. And I was like, and he’s been he’s been struggling for two years to start a business. And he’s like, Yeah, man, look at this thing I drew. It’s a life vision board. And I was like, Dude, that thing is awesome. And I was like, why don’t you go sell it? So now Cory he sells those Cory Walden are waiting for 50 bucks each I know.
Yeah, Corey, you hit a thing on he was on Tim Ferriss with me. And he was going to be
David Ralph [8:17]
a millionaire mean in either something.
Noah Kagan [8:21]
a millionaire, excuse me. But the point I was trying to make is the two ways I would say for anyone trying to start a business is do this. Number one, go ask your friends. What kind of business you think they should you should start? It’s kind of like when you ask your friends. Hey, what do you think about the girl I’m dating, the real friends. Because the real friends are like, Yoshi sucks. You need to not be with her. Because that’s what I do with my friends. And they do it with me, as well. With business. They’re like, dude, you always talk about gaming, you always talk about bananas, whatever it is. And they’ll give you a good sense of something, at least the direction of it. The second thing that I’m noticing David is starting a business. Most people are very afraid to call it velocity to $1. There, once you get $1 it changes your whole perspective. Even with Sumo me, we didn’t charge for the first six months. And I’ll tell you, we charge $10 to hide it so many comic to hide the bat. And once I made $10, it really changed my life, wow. And validated people want what I’m making. So here’s a quick example of what I would recommend for anyone, a friend of mine, his name is Ryan. He’s a new friend. He runs the military wallet calm. And he’s trying to figure out like a product that he could sell to his readers. He’s got like hundreds of thousands every month. And so he’s like, I want to build an app. And I want the app to do this and what the app to do that. And I was like, Well, how do you know people are going to want your app, or for any kind of product, or for an event or first service is like, Well, I have a mailing list, I have traffic and they’ll probably do it and blah, blah, and I was writing a story. And I’ve literally spent David $80,000, building a website, and six months of time. And after I launched it, I made 1500 bucks. And I made that for a few more months. And I was like holy crap, I’m This is the biggest waste of money and time I’ve ever done. So what I learned, and what I encourage people to do is called pre sales. And this will help you get to your velocity $1. So from my friend Ryan at the military wallet, I said, Okay, why don’t you just email 1000 people of your mailing list, not the whole list and tell them, Hey, I’m putting this together. I want you to pay for it, you’ll get early access. And plus, you’ll be involved. Most people want to be involved and see what they say and say PayPal me here 50 bucks. And the great thing about it is either people buy it, and then you can go make it because you know that they want it or if they don’t want it, you could find out what they do want and just ask them, Hey, you didn’t want this? What kind of things are you spending your money on? What kind of things do you need help with. And that’s actually a much faster and quicker way, you could do that for almost any business in 24 hours. And I’ve done that myself if you go to like app sumo.com slash Sumo jerky, similar, similar jerky or similar dash jerky app sumo.com Sumo, absolute, a calm Sumo dash jerky. And you’ll see that I started a business in 24 hours making $1,000 profit without using my network or anything like that. So it’s basically that anyone listening can do the exact same thing.
David Ralph [11:05]
Now I was I was saying to you know, yes, I agree with you. But isn’t it a mindset? Now you’ve obviously had successes and the more successes, the more ability flows through belief, belief and ability has to sort of coming together. But a lot of listeners out there are sitting, and they haven’t made that first, that dollar. So how did I get that competence, but their time is going to be used wisely in the right direction to change their lives.
Noah Kagan [11:34]
So I’m not going to act like I’m some guru or I don’t, I’m not afraid, you know, it still happens to me. And I think what people need to do number one is start overcoming their fears of failure and their fear of asking a few of the things that I recommend that work really well. Number one is stranger challenge. com, it’s totally free. You basically you can go check it out. It’s a free resource to go up to strangers and ask them to take a photo with you. It’s very uncomfortable. One thing I do it’s a new one. In airport, know, you just go up to someone with a flyer that’s on that website, you go up and say, Hey, take a photo with me. And they say no. And you’re like, Okay, wow. And guess what you’re okay. And that’s all part of businesses is you get practice failure. And eventually people say yes, if it’s something they want, something I’ve been doing, and I’m it’s fun is that airports, I love newspapers at airports. So what I do is I go to people’s newspapers, and I say, Hey, can I have your newspaper if you’re done with it? And I get rejected a lot that like you want my newspaper? I’m like, Yeah, I want your newspaper. And they’re like, okay, sure I’m done with this section. And before you can even kind of start asking for money and getting into the right mindset, you’ve got to be comfortable putting yourself out there a bit. And once you realize it’s not as bad. So that that’s really the key thing. Like I know, for me, like I was scared of going over this mountain on a four wheeler about a year ago. And I was like, I’m not going to fucking do that. That’s scary. That is way too scary. And so I was like, Noah, you’re not going to be a bitch. You’ve got to go over this mountain and go down the hill. And I did it. And I was like, holy shit, that was fun. And so I spent the rest of the day just keep going over and up and down mountain, I realized how much fun it was. And so that’s what really people need to be practicing on. The key one, another key one I’ll give you is one more. The last tip is coffee challenge, which is going to Starbucks and asking for 10% off. And the reason you do that is because they’re generally 90% plus going to reject you. But it gives you a way that you can start feeling comfortable asking for things because that’s all businesses, you’re saying, will you give me money in exchange for the value of service or product that I’m proposing to you?
So, so Have
David Ralph [13:39]
you always been confident and comfortable doing that? Or if we went back in time and joined up your dots, which we’re going to was there a totally different Noah than there is now.
Noah Kagan [13:52]
Honestly, no, I was like the leading salesperson for like magazines, because they had like, I got like a pizza party and I was a fat kid in elementary school. If I sold the most magazines, I got pizza, which was a very good incentive for a fat kid. I think the the thing that I’ve realized David and I call it no brainer, it’s a no brainer mentality. And what I mean by that is that when I’m selling something, I generally only sell things I use. And I generally sell it to people where I truly believe it’s beneficial to them. So I actually think I’m doing them a favor, or their life will be worse if they’re not buying what I’m selling them. And so it’s more or less a no brainer. So it’s not really about confidence, I don’t feel like I have to go cold call people because I don’t like cold calling. And I don’t feel like I have to push something on if people don’t want. But the things I’ve done in my lifetime that I’m proud of and have subsequently been successful. I truly think that, you know, you should use Sumo me calm. I was like, I think it’ll make your way it’ll grow your mailing list, it’ll do what it’s done for app Sumo. calm. And that’s why I have no problem getting on a podcast talk with you about it, or doing a presentation or going and hustling and selling it. I think one of the things as people are trying to get confidence is trying to get an understanding of what they really want. Because that’s what it all kind of comes back to is that some people don’t really want to run their own business, they just want a boss who doesn’t suck. And some people really don’t really want to run a billion dollar company like me, I don’t I just want to run a business that I get to work with cool people make a decent living. And I get, you know, the freedom to come to work when I as I please and work from wherever I want. And so I think when you can understand what you want and get clarity on that it makes it much easier to figure out how do you get to that path. So when you’re struggling during the day, and man, I just need to get something started. Like all right, why no, I this is where I want to get. And if you have that clarity, it makes everything else clear, makes everything else much more easier to accomplish. And a good metaphor thinking about that as directions. So a lot of people don’t really think about their destination. They’re just kind of like, I want a business that’s kind of this and blah, blah, blah, but I just want it and because my job sucks today. And I don’t know how I’m gonna really get there. But contrast that to a map. Right? Like, David, if we were in if we were in the UK, and we’re trying to get somewhere like to Wales, you wouldn’t just start driving, you know, driving West, you would say all right, well, Wales is there. And here’s the route I want to get there. And the more that people can get clarity on their final destination and the path they want to get to get there, the more likely they are to get there. Well,
David Ralph [16:18]
I think that is absolutely now done. And I think that is the problem that so many people have that life takes control them on of them. And they are doing jobs but the energy level just getting through but day leap some spent by the time they get home. And then they want that vicious circle. They get up the next morning, they’re tired, they go off to work, they do their work, they fight through the day, and they come home. Now you seem somebody and it was fascinating. You just said you don’t want to run a billion dollar company because looking at your history. I’ve been sort of grappling whether you are entrepreneurial or soda opinion, cereal, and you seem to emphasize Ben but you are more solo connubial I, it’s more of a lifestyle smaller, the enjoyment is more of a satisfaction that you would want more than actually creating an empire. And was was that always in you? Or am I reading that that incorrectly?
Noah Kagan [17:13]
I mean, it’s funny because when times are good, it’s easy to kind of neglect things that are going on. So I have a friend that works in Apple logistics, I was like, Man, you work at Apple, things must be so great. And he’s like, you know, things are actually really shitty. We just make so much money, who cares if we don’t even care how well it’s organized in terms of our logistics, because we can afford to. And so when times are good, and without Sumo, we are growing really well, I was let’s keep growing. And then when times were kind of slower, it really gave me a moment to reflect and pause about what I wanted to be doing and how I wanted to be doing it. And it’s not that I don’t want to create a larger business, I just want to do it under my own my own way and my own, I guess rules or you know, preferences. And that’s kind of the, the, the benefit or fortitude you have when you start your own business. And I think we lose that, like you start your own business to do what you want. And then you’re like, Man, this sucks. Like, isn’t that why you started your own business? And so I think that people should do, you know, probably a monthly check up on their personal lives on their work on their relationships and evaluate like, Hey, is this the work I want to be doing? Are these the people like I think too many people hang out with people that suck. And you always hear the shitty thing Oh, you’re the average of five friends. When you actually change who you hang out with. And notice the difference. That’s when you actually start realizing Holy shit, I want better friends. Or like what happened, I invited someone out to lunch with a group and they kind of sucked. I’m not going to call them out. But they sucked. And I was like, Damn, I’m really glad this happened. So that I realized I don’t want to be around people that don’t make it more fun to have a good time. Right? Like there’s people that you hang it like David don’t do someone in your life that when you hang out with them, you’re like, this is just better.
David Ralph [18:47]
Yeah, I’ve got a mate called Phil. And if you’re listening, Phil, and I met him when I was 16. And I’m now 44. And I might see him maybe three times a year. But we walk in, he’s standing at the bar with a pint in his and bang. And it’s always a good night. I never go home and go, what was the point of that, you know, upset with people I didn’t really want to be with for a few hours, and I’ve wasted 30 pounds. Big feel bang spot on. So yeah, I’ve got somebody on that.
Noah Kagan [19:15]
One. So I think the overall point in terms of, you know, kind of creating a business one, I don’t think everything is a lifestyle. This just depends on what kind of lifestyle you want. And you know, when you’re in from Silicon Valley, everyone’s running around working 30 hours a week or three hours a day. And obviously, there’s more hours in the day. But the point is, is that you have to really take the time to step out and realize like it is a marathon you should be you’re going to be working for a long time. And so what kind of work and how do you want to work and who you want to be with and I think a constant monthly checkup on yourself. It’s very healthy, I do it. Probably between one to three times between one a week to four weeks, I’ll check in on myself on those different facets.
David Ralph [19:50]
But But it’s interesting, though, because you seem very at ease with yourself, you seem at the right place, PSL. But you also driven quite frankly, by doing that monthly audit, making sure that your goals, both physically, mentally, professionally, whatever, are all kind of being achieved. Bane, you are very driven as well, you seem to be like a hybrid of the two, what what is the overriding side of you the one that would like to go, just give me 100 million pound and sit on the beach, or the person who likes the process of building something and constructing and providing value to the world?
Unknown Speaker [20:28]
Well, the thing that I
Noah Kagan [20:32]
yeah, I mean, it’s funny. So we have this course called monthly one k.com. And we help people start businesses and we show them how we started up Sumo. And we’ve helped over 5000 people. And we had this goal to get them to sell 3333 of them. And the idea with that is, when we sell 3333, we can actually make it’ll be a million dollar or platinum product because I love rap music and a lot of the guys in the team like rap music, so I go, it’s platinum. And October 2013 hit our goal. And then I felt then I was a little depressed. I was like, What the fuck do I do now I’m already I’m at the destination. I guess I have to go pick another destination. And it was one of the most amazing reminders that it’s not the destination that actually is interesting. It’s all the way along to your destination. And that’s one of the things that you can hear that story I just told you. But until you kind of experience it enough time. So like for anyone listening or for yourself David, let’s say you had 100 million dollars or $10 million, or $5 million, like, what would you be doing differently? And then how can you live that life now? Right? So I’ve been to all the places I kind of want to travel, I don’t feel like going to new places. I like the work we’re doing. It’s something that I can feel comfortable leaving behind. And so I think what people need to really start evaluating is like, what kind of journey day to day Do they want to be doing? not just necessarily where do they want to be ending up.
David Ralph [21:53]
But let’s play some words that really sort of emphasize our point in the conversation. And this is from Jim Carrey,
Unknown Speaker [21:58]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [22:25]
Now you You seem to be falling into that camp, but you are not exactly taking a chance because you’re working on something and you’re strategically finding what people want and then building the business around it. But those words seem to be quite true to you. Do you? Do you think that
Noah Kagan [22:40]
I mean it? Yeah, you spend the same amount of time doing something big is doing something small. But I think the idea of doing something big and crazy. What most people neglect is that a lot of that starts small. And that’s kind of the harder part is that you’re like I want to let’s say you want to build like you want to be monopoly and you want to own a lot of real estate. Like I want to own a lot of buildings here in Austin, Texas where I live. But you also have to kind of understand it like that kind of thing. start somewhere and have to figure out how do you start it today? So if you want to sort of business, how do you get $1 today, how do you service just one customer today, and over time and eventually can be something a lot bigger. But and I think that’s where a lot of people get hung up David is that they want to do something crazy and big like Jim Carrey talks about, but also you have to realize, like getting the ball rolling and getting momentum is the key thing. I mean, I experienced that exact same thing. I was at Intel. And I told my mom, I’m going to quit to join this little startup called Facebook. And she’s like, well, am I my mom too. And they said, you’re you’re frickin crazy. You know, a little company, like Facebook, which at the time seemed crazy, you know, MySpace was a big deal. But the big point, and you know, didn’t, the benefits weren’t the same and all this shit. But the realization was literally like three months later, Intel laid off 10,000 people. And so I don’t think it’s necessarily always about taking the boulder chance I try to choose that myself. Like if I have two options, I always try to choose bold is not every time. But the two things I’m thinking. So just keep going towards the things you really enjoy. And maybe work is just a way that you can enjoy your after hours then do that. But I would you know, I would try to age just keep going towards things that are fulfilling you and enjoying you like like, man, I’d be happy to work on this for the next six months. And then as you have options, like I really challenge yourself. So when I have an option where I’m like, Okay, this one’s a little uncomfortable. This one’s a little comfortable. Try the ones that are a little uncomfortable a while and kind of like what Jim Carrey said is the more that you test your your uncomfortableness. The further that you realize you can go like what I told you about the ATV story or a stranger challenge or newspaper or the coffee challenge is that once you push yourself to further limit, it’s like a gym, like holy shit, I can lift a lot more than I realized, like you don’t get stronger lifting the same exact way. You only get bigger if you challenge yourself to something a little bit heavier. Well, that was a good one, man. That’s a really good one.
David Ralph [24:49]
Yeah, absolutely, you are rocking in owning. And it sort of ties in with the the hustle muscle analogy that we have that so many people are frightened of hassling, because they don’t really know the angle, what they need to do, how to actually develop it. But that is something that is a muscle and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And you just find that there’s opportunities out there that maybe six months previously, you would not been able to see because you wouldn’t have been able to put yourself in that position to be out but to see them when they come past. Now, I’ll use somebody that creates your opportunities, are you somebody now that has got such a network, but a lot of them blow flow towards you.
Noah Kagan [25:31]
A little bit of both, I’m not going to deny it like it is easier for me to ring up people who are bestselling authors or, you know, people who run websites that have a lot of distribution. But that also taken me 10 years to get to. So I would encourage anyone. So my number one strategy for meeting people is that if is your little type two things, one, if you are trying to meet people bring people together. So the way I got a lot of relationships and connections like I got a job, Facebook just threw a cold email, I didn’t know anyone, I just send my resume. But you you’re trying to meet people create a offline event. And you are the organizer that I went to an event called fin con Expo, which was a financial blogger conference. And the organizer, whether people don’t know him that well, people don’t even know his name is Peter, he’s an awesome guy. But people just assume he’s like a personal finance blogging expert, because he’s the organizers, and everyone wants to meet him. So the more you can connect people and become a hub, the bigger and more valuable your network will be like, keep trying to connect people don’t just introduce random but bring people together. And the second thing that I’ve been doing, because you always really grow from people, like I’m trying to grow from people who have gone to where I want to go, like they’ve already done the things that I’m thinking of, and the more you can work and be with them, the more that they can, like, advise you on the things that you already should be doing or not doing. And so I’m going back to my network of the people that I really trust and respect and say, who do you learn x from? So instead of trying to do cold emails, okay, will you be my mentor? I’m really trying to reach out to friends. I’m like, who do you you learn this from? Like, which book did you read about this, and then really trying to go through my network. For the people I respect to see where they get that though that person or that knowledge from?
David Ralph [27:10]
And if you can write back in time to sort of the Macy’s linen job and the popcorn and stuff? What was this kind of big scheme in your mind? What were you like a coiled spring ready to go with your resume, all written out just to send it out to 100 different companies? Or were you at that time, just sort of going through the motions, not really knowing what you wanted to do? Not really sure of your place.
Noah Kagan [27:37]
And I think at that time, I just wanted to my parents are basically like, if you want things you have to work and money has never been my motivator. Like I have a decent amount of cash that they don’t have anything to buy with David is a little bit of a scorecard. But it’s it’s more like what things in mind during the popcorn, Sam was fun to like, I was like the godfather of the mall, or I could sell popcorn and meet girls. And you know, I’m in junior high school. So it’s a lot of fun. And maybe he’s like, you know, it’s just a job. I’m like, I’m supposed to work. And this would be a cool place to practice sales. And I actually learned the most about sales for late Macy’s and right afterwards. But I didn’t really have a grander vision at that time. I was just like, that was kind of a cool job. And I got to learn about bedsheets and linens.
David Ralph [28:15]
Since when did the grand vision when when did Noah start finding his feet and start making inroads because it is amazing, really, that you have got two of the largest companies on earth on your resume. And most people, if you look at any of their resumes, you’d never heard of anyone that they’ve worked for. But you’ve had two of the sort of the big the big guys on there. So when did you start actually learning what you wanted in life and going through it?
Unknown Speaker [28:40]
Well, I think when people
Noah Kagan [28:43]
I think a few different things. One, you just look at the things you’re already enjoying. Look at the things you already enjoy. And that’s where you go. So like I was already using Facebook, I was already in the dorms like a the guy in charge. And everyone’s on it. I was on it. I’m using it all day. I’m like, me kind of just fun to work with this. Same with Mint. com, I got introduced them, they weren’t really even hiring me. And I was like, man, I love personal finance. I have to tell people about this product. And it’s a huge opportunity in terms of what it could do for the world. I have to be a part of it. I don’t even get the job in the beginning. And you know, kind of as I’ve gotten older, I just explore the things I’m really good at, I’m really good at bringing people together. I’m really good at making shit happen. So like, I’m not good at maintaining things. So I hire people that are strong at that. And then I really like like spreading the word about things. So what does that mean? Well, it’s really all of those things. Like, I started a business where I just told people about something I liked, and I brought people together to buy it. And I think what people need to do is really reflect on the things that they’ve always done well, maybe they’ve always done creative, well, maybe they’re good at photography, maybe they’re good at cooking, maybe they’re good at writing. And you just kind of keep going towards that and that stuff evolves over time. You know, a lot of this year I’ve been writing I’ve really enjoyed writing. And right now I’m kind of enjoying just organizing a team to help me grow Sumo me calm. And so you know that stuff involved. But really, it’s kind of taking the time out to reflect on what you’ve been doing? And which part what part of the past six months have you really enjoyed. Like so everybody’s enjoyed something, maybe you’re hanging out with friends, maybe it’s doing some certain activity with friends, maybe it’s like some type of drinking. Maybe it’s some type of writing or photos or service of any sort, and then figure out how do I go and do more of that throughout my day.
David Ralph [30:27]
Because one of the things that comes up in the show time and time, again, literally every single episode is the fact that the kind of the passion, the real thing that people should be doing in life is intrinsically linked to what they did as little kids. And if you loved riding horses, or, you know, building stuff, when you as a kid, generally, that’s your core passion. And as you go through life, and you go into the education system, and you come out, you forget the things that you loved to do when you weren’t being paid for it. And instead, you just go into a job because it’s paying the bucks. Is there a link to you when you were little did you use the line to do writing and things when you was a little number?
Noah Kagan [31:10]
No, I mean, I was an English as a second language. That means basically, I’m from a foreign country, even though I’m from America. Born and raised, I just sucked at writing in English. I’m a decent speaker, though. And so I practice with it. But I’d say if I had to look back for myself, my father came to America from Israel, and started selling copiers. And then my step father was an engineer, who would always bring home computers and let me break them. And so from that point, like it’s kind of merged into where I’m in the future now what my mom was a very annoying Jewish mother and a very loving, annoying Jewish mother. But all those three things have kind of come together where it’s made me be able to bring people together, be persistent, and kind of do things with technology. And so that that’s kind of I’d probably say, that’s where those three merged where I am today.
David Ralph [32:00]
So so it’s the kind of the construction, it’s the the nuts and bolts putting something together and building it. That’s the thing that actually sort of links you back to that. That kid putting the computer back together.
Noah Kagan [32:14]
Yeah, I mean, I do like the idea. I like telling people about things. Like when I have a new restaurant, I want to tell all my friends. And I generally like, you know, and as well, I like doing that with technology, because you can tell a lot more people than just one at a time. One of the considerations that I have is that, like, if you could do anything Monday morning, what kind of work would you want to do? Or if you could plan out your work week, like go look at a calendar, and you could do whatever you want this week? What would you want your week to be like, and I pretty much get to do that. And some of my days suck, you know, we’re like, I have to go do some meetings. And then I’m like, Well, fuck meetings, I don’t have to do that shit anymore. So can I hire someone or just cancel those meetings, but like, I want to go to the gym at three, because around three o’clock is when I stopped thinking, and I’ll work later at night, or maybe one days, I don’t want to work. And so I just want to go play for that day, and I’ll work the next day. Or maybe I won’t. I’d say that the two things that you know, I’ve been really getting better at, it’s like planning the week that you want to live. And and this is something I learned from the gym as well. It’s really helped me in businesses taking and being okay with recharge time. And that’s something that I’ve gotten stronger at. And it’s really helped me and what that means is that like normally go to the gym five days a week, you just go go go go go go, and whatever. And I started a workout program, which is another interesting story. But what that Worker Program says, today, you take the day off, I’m like, oh, but I’m supposed to work out. And that’s what everyone else is doing. And I realized when I took the day off that day, after when I went back to the gym, I was able to actually work out a lot stronger, and I was seeing better results. And so the thing that it taught me is that it’s okay to take time out and not feel guilty if you’re not running 30 hours, like everyone else making dumb shit, when you could be recharged and actually be a lot more productive. And I think that’s a common thing that most people, they want to feel productive, and they want to feel busy, but they’re not actually working on the highest level things.
David Ralph [33:52]
Yeah, I think that’s true. I speak to so many people that actually build many retirements into their life. And they actually plan to work six months solidly to then have three months off. And it’s not open to question, they’re having those three months off. And they almost disconnect the phone, they disconnect the computer and they go off and they do whatever they want to do. And they say when they come back, they’re so recharged, and so ready to go. And they’re probably ready to go after a month to be honest. And there’s like two week, two months of really thinking about what they want to do. And they’re planning. So when they come back, bang. And when I look at it, they actually get more work done in the long term, because I’ve had that time to reassess, and focus. And as you’re saying, recharge, and we’re just we’re humans own where we are machinery basically. And you expect your mobile phone to recharge about as a human. We kind of just build it we just plow on plow on plow plow on.
Noah Kagan [34:48]
That’s a really good way of putting it it’s just like a phone.
David Ralph [34:51]
There you go. I’m getting good at this as well. Noah,
Noah Kagan [34:54]
yeah, man should have a podcast. I should have a
David Ralph [34:56]
podcast what a brilliant idea. I’m going to supply I know people podcast, so I’m going to put my that to them. It is that something that you know what, what was interesting about you was the thing that you love is the thing that you feel that you should supply to people because if you love using it, you know that there’s a good chance that they’re going to get value from it as well. And is that an angle? That is kind of common sense to most people? Because it doesn’t seem common sense. To me, it seems logical when you’re saying it. And I think yeah, that’s, you know, absolutely spot on. That’s what you should do. But most people will just get an idea in their head and plow into it. And then find out if it’s going to work out afterwards. Should should we all be going your route? Because it does seem a good mood to do?
Noah Kagan [35:40]
know, if the world was a bunch of noise, it would suck?
David Ralph [35:44]
Why would that be? No?
Noah Kagan [35:46]
That’s, you know, because I definitely have my own style. And I think everyone has to embrace the style that they are. And that’s what makes the world interesting. Because you have people with different personalities that can come together. What what I want people to do is just kind of be themselves what what they need you think about those, there’s many different ways to get to the same destination, you just have to figure out the one that works for you. Right, maybe it’s bicycle, maybe it’s card, and it’s a train. And yeah, sometimes actually, the warbling be super bad if as a bunch of know is not I think of me, like I’m a very thoughtful person. Like, I don’t think it’d be the worst thing. I don’t know if I’d be the best looking world, but it’d be pretty, you know, pretty productive there. We need people like engineers, like my partner, Chad, who’s smarter than me. And I would help get the word out. But I would say if anyone wants to get started, it’s more what what most people do David is that they have an idea. And it works for them. And I think it’s going to get them rich. And then they go out and try to sell to people, no one wants it, or they build it for six months, and then they go up, no one wants it. And what I was trying to encourage people to do is how do you validate, which means a paying customer today? And what that helps you really get towards? Is that right? am I working on something that people actually want versus what I assume they want. And that’s what I’ve been better at. So besides, if I make something for myself that I know will be better for other people, I literally within that day or under three days, I make sure that people will pay for it. Instead of just assuming that people will want it, which is what most people do.
David Ralph [37:07]
But there’s a chap in podcasting land who is very, very successful, he’s got a very successful show. And part of these he’s income producing machinery is a podcasting coaching calls. And when he set it up, he basically wrote an email out to all these listeners and said, Look, this is an idea that I’ve got, if you jump on it now, there’s nothing here at all, it’s just the idea. You can sign up for $75, I think it was early bird. And then when we actually launched, it’s going to be $100, and so on. And as it gets more, more content and gets more valuable, then the price is going to go up. And he sent that email out. And it was just an email with his idea of it. And when he closed Two days later, he had $10,000 in the bank, because people believed in what he wanted proof of content. And so he been built what he he offered to them, and it’s going extremely well to him. And it just seems hugely logical. And I like to know approach Noah.
Noah Kagan [38:08]
Yeah, I mean, we call it pre sales. And you know, with the monthly one kid from I hope, 5000 people. So I’ve gotten a really fascinating insight besides myself, starting my own businesses and failing with my own businesses, and dealing with failure in general, like, you know, getting fired from Facebook. And I try to help people just show from my mistakes and from my successes, which is like spend as little time and money as possible to ensure that what you’re doing people will want. And then when you find out they want it. This is actually one of the things I’m seeing a lot of people struggle with, is that when when people find something that works, they don’t do more of it. They just kind of accept it. I’m like, is there a way that you can double or triple or quadruple or 10 X the things that are already working? And most people just kind of accept the status quo, or the thing of the way things are going. So with anybody’s business, if you’re like, well, I want to grow my business. One know your destination is how much more do you want to grow? Secondly, map it out your the ways that I want to get there, but also look at how have I gotten there so far? And is there a way that I can do a lot more of that? And that’s actually a very common thing I’m seeing that people aren’t doing?
David Ralph [39:08]
Easy it 20 principle, isn’t it? Basically?
Noah Kagan [39:12]
Yeah, it’s at 20. You know, it’s all these cliche things that we could do forever. But until you maybe hear it from me or someone else, or frankly, experience it, can you finally start making a reality out of it? And even with ourselves, it’s like, well, how do we grow up Sumo, great products, free products, giveaways, and advertising. Which one have we not done? We haven’t done a free product in a while. Okay, so now every month, we do a free product. And so really, it’s coming back to like doing more of what works. And I know that’s stupid. And I’m sure most of your listeners have heard that. But just saying that will help them hopefully think about higher, what have I used to do that helped me get to where I am, so I can do more of
David Ralph [39:48]
nothing that I think that is logical as well, because I hadn’t seen Sumo me at all, as I was saying, and I abused it. And I now think this is brilliant. So I’m going to come back more and more to find out freebies. And while you’re looking at those freebies, you’ll see stuff that looks good that you have to pay for. And because you like that product that you’re getting for nothing, you’re going to buy the extra stuff on you.
Noah Kagan [40:10]
Yeah, I mean, I’ll give a free thing away to your listeners, if they go to ok.com slash join up dots it’s the first chapter of my Facebook book, which is the story of perseverance. So it’s like, you know, from the first days when my boss got fired to mark with a samurai sword, and it’s a book I’m coming out with that I think your listeners will enjoy. So it’s okay doctor com slash join up dots so that’s a free thing. I’m giving away that in the future. They’ll be a full book and other products and I don’t really sell a lot of ok.com it’s just my personal marketing blog. But they do that I’ve noticed is that like, most I always think of it with businesses, everyone. It’s so fascinating businesses, like you have this opportunity to build a relationship and most people just try to go right in right away to have sex. And what they need to think about is, you know, how do they do a first date. So like I was talking with a partner today, woo themes, I really want to work with woo themes for Sumo me. What you really have to understand is like, all right, what is their objective? This is for sales, like what’s their goal? And how do I help them accomplish it? And how do I do a small test that we can do in a short period of time to start proving that relationship will be good, and I can help them get their goals. And most people just kind of go in with a hammer just oh, let’s do the sex and let’s do all this shit right away. I’m like, started small, helping them with their goals and do a first date. So that’s the same thing with Okay, dork or a lot of this stuff with with App Sumo is like doing more of what works. And so one of the things I’ve seen with all businesses is doing things that are free or getting a starting a relationship. Like if you think about a restaurant, I’m happy to go on, if a restaurants are really fascinating to me, I love them because we all eat. If you were always worried about Oh, if I have a business, what about if somebody copies me, I’m like, there’s a lot of restaurants doing Japanese, don’t worry if someone copies you. But the thing I think about is like you go to a restaurant one time, we could both go to the same restaurant, and have two totally different experiences. Like maybe your waiter was, was a bitch, that day, the guy was really rude. And my waiter was great at the same restaurant, and you’re like, I’ll never go back. And I think about that with businesses were like, if you go to someone’s website, or someone’s service, or someone’s restaurant, and that first time is horrible, you’ll never hear from them. And you won’t even know that it’s bad unless they may be complaining. And so I think it’s really important to be consistent. And to make sure that you started building good relationships with you know, all the customers, you have, at least all the customers you want to have. Because I’ve noticed even with Sue me now that a lot of the people that we’re helping with, I’m doing, I’m installing the service for them, and I’m setting it up and I’m helping them optimize. And I’m giving them other feedback there, you know, month later referring and mentioning us in blog posts or to their friends. And that’s really, really satisfying. So the thing, I guess, overall, I would say is just one, be aware of how you’re building relationship with your customers and with your business. And it really starts one at a time. People are always surprised that I email customers one by one. And I’m like, yeah, that’s how we got started. And that’s how we’re going to keep getting bigger. You know, it’s one by one by one. But But
David Ralph [42:52]
how do you do that when you’ve got you know, I’m looking at the figures on Sumo me. 280,816,400 29 visitors enjoying Sumo me? So that’s huge in my head. That’s huge. If I had those listens, I’d be rich.
Noah Kagan [43:11]
Well, that’s the thing. So you said you’d be retired? What would you want to do once you’re retired? Do this
David Ralph [43:16]
early enough? Yeah.
Noah Kagan [43:19]
David Ralph [43:20]
I would just enjoy myself, I would just sworn up to the mic and had these amazing conversations and then that the I’ll be happy
Noah Kagan [43:27]
or not happy now.
David Ralph [43:28]
I am happy with the conversations. I’ll be honest. And I say this a lot. But I I’ve grown this business all on my own. There’s not one other person helping me. And it’s an awful lot of work, which to be honest, no, it’s at the point now, but I should farm it off and give it to other people to do you know, a lot of what you’ve been saying tonight, when you’ve been saying it, I haven’t said anything in response. But I’ve been thinking, yes, yeah, that’s me. When you’re saying, you know, do I should I go to these meetings? Should I do this? Should I get somebody else to do it for me, you know, all that kind of stuff. They kind of play to your strengths, build your passions and enjoy yourself. I’m trapped in quite a lot of stuff, which is the behind the scenes thing of running the show and getting the show going. But I should hand over. Once that’s gone, then I think I’ll be happy as Larry, as we say over here, and I’ll be on air talent or just come on in at the conversations?
Noah Kagan [44:21]
Well, let’s break that down. Because I think what a lot of people do is they make a list of a lot of things, and they do all this work. But none of it really moves the needle. Where are you actually? So you’re saying that if you had someone doing your bookings as and let me just give you a counter example or a parallel example. Perhaps, you know, I hate doing sales for deals. Now. I just did it for a year and a half. It’s really easy. It’s a great opportunity for any partner we work with on appsflyer. com. It’s free newsletter for entrepreneurs. But I don’t like doing the sales anymore. And so I was like that is the biggest thing holding the business back. I need to solve for that as a priority is a Stephen Covey said one of my favorite books is Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And it’s the stuff that’s important but not urgent, which is the critical things to work con in your business. So for you is that it sounds like and correct me if I’m wrong is that is that getting someone to help you set up the things like, Where’s the biggest time stuff that’s, you know, you could pay someone else to be doing? Well, to be honest, Sumo me has saved me a ton of work, because that’s the kind of thing, building the sort of actual platform itself time consuming. And if you’re not that techie, anyway, your and your if you know, when you start, you aren’t doing it on a shoestring budget, you kind of go off to places like FIFO, and you you sort of outsource on our desk and things like that. And you spend half your time going back and forth saying to people, that’s not really what I was asking for. I’m asking for kind of this, you know, I’ll just do it myself. So you do learn a lot when doing it.
I mean, but right now, I mean, where are you spending the most time where it’s not really adding value? It’s not really growing your podcast listening to your podcast,
David Ralph [45:54]
but don’t think I am the content is being produced? The booking of guests takes a long time. But if you don’t you guess yeah, I’m doing it. Oh, maybe if you don’t have to get
Noah Kagan [46:05]
done. Okay, well, let’s let’s just take what’s taking the most time right now. That’s not really adding value to your podcast, I guess. What’s your overall goal with the podcast right now to make it a full time business? Yeah, absolutely. And then how much do you need to get make it a full time business?
David Ralph [46:18]
Oh, no, probably from 1000 a month.
Noah Kagan [46:22]
So 5000 pounds or dollars? pounds?
Okay, and then how much you’re making? Now, this is pretty cool. I didn’t think we do this. But I actually think that this is kind of fun. And how much are you making an Alma? How much a month? Are you making now?
David Ralph [46:35]
Probably, well, I haven’t been pushing for sponsorship, I just been focused on building the audience. So about three and a half.
Noah Kagan [46:42]
certain is that for coaching,
David Ralph [46:44]
that’s what I’m coaching bits and bobs, you know, and I don’t do a lot other than the actual developing of the show, I’ll be honest. And I tell you where it is now. And I’ll be honest with you, when you start something, you have a mindset of building it in a direction. And the first thing you have to do is build an audience. And I think this is a problem that I’ve had. And I think so many people have as well, you’re so focused on that original task that you can’t change direction. And once you get the audience in, as I’m getting in the show, then it should be at that at that point. But I go, right, okay. I kind of let it simmer a bit in that direction, because it’s already achieved. I’ll go off in a different direction. But I’m so focused on that route. It’s it’s the, it’s like, it’s like a tanker. It’s like a tanker that it takes three miles to turn around. Do you know what I mean? And I feel like Personally, I mean, back kind of stage at the moment.
Noah Kagan [47:41]
Well, so let me I mean, that’s the thing was like, with with apps, you know, I started it to make 3500 a month, so I could travel and do this business. And so if I were you, my main goal would be at this point, how do I get to $5,000? So and then I would say, all right, well, what’s holding you back from getting that and if it’s scheduling things, you should use schedule once calm. You schedule once college to say, hey, if you want to book a show with me go to schedule one sec comm slash david or whatever, you register the URL, and that’ll save you the back and forth of you working with my assistant or with anybody’s, and that’ll save you time right there. So it’s like our where’s the stuff blocking me from getting to five k? And then what I personally do is if I want to get to five K, I say, all right, well, what are all my options get to five k? So I mean, what would be some of your options you could do today to get to five k?
David Ralph [48:25]
Oh, yeah, I could do I could do lots of things. And I could get to five k very, very easily. But whether I would be enjoying doing what I have.
Noah Kagan [48:33]
Okay, good. So what would you enjoy doing to get to five k?
David Ralph [48:37]
more of what I’m doing now, you know, my whole thing is doing this show, and I love doing this.
Noah Kagan [48:44]
But I’m trying to say all right, if you want to do this full time, which I want you to do, it sounds like you want to do so what are the fun things? So you just want to run the show. But what things would you need to do to monetize to get to five k? Because then we can eventually hire recommend someone to go do that for you? What are some of the things that you would have to yourself to to get there? Well, so go out
David Ralph [49:01]
and get the sponsorship, do coaching, create products, all the kind of things that you would do naturally, if you have an audience?
Noah Kagan [49:09]
I don’t know I have an audience on ok.com. I don’t sell anything because I just do it for fun. But do I mean what are those things, resonators really align with your brand and what you want to be doing for your audience and for your business?
David Ralph [49:22]
Pretty much giving them the opportunity to have the dream life finding ways for the audience to be able to change direction.
Noah Kagan [49:32]
Okay, so you want them to do that. But I guess I’m still trying to see it’s getting a little, you noticed that it’s getting a little harder right now? I don’t know if you’re feeling that too. Is it hard for you to try to want to make money on this? Or is it feeling uncomfortable for you about that?
David Ralph [49:47]
Um, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s hard at all. But I am very wary of the value that I’m providing. I wouldn’t want to cheapen what I’m providing I get so much correspondence and emails from people who advised that, because it’s different from other content out there from different shows that are kind of, for example, advert laced, with adverts all over the place. That is what they gain, but most of them, and I’m very wary of that. And so I don’t want to do anything but cheapens what I’ve actually built so far.
Noah Kagan [50:23]
So I mean, one one thing that we could do right now is if you could just ask your readers what you think that you know, you can ask them what they what they would like to do to help you monetize your your my time and effort for creating this for them. Now, if you Yeah, if you don’t know, if you want to do sponsorships, you can do donations, I don’t know. But maybe your audience will tell you how the best way to do it like hey, we want more coaching or one a private thing or one software one info. If they’re in the comments, I would say go comment right now on join up dots com, or email David and let them know, you know, Hey David, I’d love to just donate or Hey, I want to sponsor?
David Ralph [50:58]
Well, let’s do that. Now listeners out there, email me on contact join up firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you want. Tell me what you want. And we will do our very best to provide it for you.
Noah Kagan [51:10]
What is the email contact?
David Ralph [51:12]
Contact join up? email@example.com
Noah Kagan [51:17]
gotcha. The other thing that I would say David is what if you didn’t ask your listeners and you just had to make $5,000 today, what would you do? And I think this is a good mental experiment for yourself as well for your audience and myself to hear. Like if you had to make 5000 today, you said it was easy. So what would you do?
David Ralph [51:35]
Okay, what would I do? I would
Noah Kagan [51:38]
today You don’t? I mean, what time is it in London? Are you London? Or where are you based?
David Ralph [51:41]
Now just outside London, it’s about is 10 o’clock at night. So it would be too late tonight. But for tomorrow?
Noah Kagan [51:46]
I’m not actually too late tonight, because you could send emails or contact people before they’re awake. So when they’re awake, you’re there first thing,
Unknown Speaker [51:53]
okay. Oh, I would see how you already kind of
Noah Kagan [51:56]
you see right there. You already said Oh, it’s tomorrow is better.
David Ralph [51:59]
Yeah, no. I say that. Well, okay, I would send emails and I would offer myself up as a freelance trainer going around doing motivational speeches for them up in the City of London, which I used to do.
Noah Kagan [52:12]
Do you want to do that?
David Ralph [52:13]
No, not at all. But if I had to get 5000, then that’s the way I would do it, because that’d be the quickest route.
Noah Kagan [52:19]
Okay, so let’s list a few other ones. So you could go do freelance motivational speech, you can do motivational speaking to different groups, what else
David Ralph [52:26]
I could write, I could write a book about how to set up a podcast, I could create a product. I could do online coaching. I could do all the things. The money’s there. But now that isn’t isn’t the thing. We’re
Noah Kagan [52:39]
not David you’re you’re assuming it’s there.
David Ralph [52:42]
Okay, I’m assuming I think,
Noah Kagan [52:45]
Well, I mean, you’re doing what a lot of people do when they start businesses. They’re like, Oh, I can make money tons of different ways. But you’re assuming that and all I’m trying to really kind of push a little bit on, hopefully, it’s not too uncomfortable for you. Sounds like it’s not too bad, is how can you do things to de with something you truly want to do? And I think that’s what I’m starting to notice, do you you’re like, I don’t want to do motivational speaking, because that doesn’t really fulfill me. And that’s not something how I spend it. That’s not how I want to earn my money. But how do you actually validate? You know, I can make $5,000? Doing x, which is something I enjoy?
David Ralph [53:18]
I don’t know. No, I’ll be honest. on the spot at the moment, I don’t know, all I do know, is what I don’t want to do, not what I want to do that is linked to what I want to do. And that’s this, having a conversation with you at the moment. And I’ll be honest, it is kind of uncomfortable, but I’m enjoying it because it’s a different show is a different show that we’ve had before, you know, and I think that is what makes this show interesting. So even though I am struggling to think of the answers, but I would like to provide to you, I still think that is providing value, because my struggle is the same struggle that so many people have out there. And they’re out there thinking every day, how can I earn some more money? How can I get a better life? How can I get a better job and all those kind of things? So I think it’s very interesting from that point of view, but actually to give you a definitive answer on the spot, not I’d have to sleep on it.
Noah Kagan [54:15]
Okay, there’s no right or wrong answer. And that’s kind of what I’ve tried to recommend all along is that people need to do what’s along with themselves and what they truly want to be doing. Not because know what you know, so I think I don’t want a world of notice, right? Otherwise, it’d be pretty boring. So I think the thing for yourself, what’s that?
David Ralph [54:31]
Now, I was just thinking, Well, why do you think that a world of Noah’s would be boring, because you seem an interesting. You kind of keep me humble in certain ways. And you’ve kind of knocked your backers self back a few times in this conversation. But on the other side, you’re obviously competent, and you’re a big dreamer. And you’re a big believer, and you’re pushing forward into areas that other people possibly wouldn’t be able to do. But there’s, there’s this bit of you that keeps on nothing is so bad. Well, once you do that,
Noah Kagan [55:03]
yeah, probably a little bit. I try not to take myself too seriously, or put myself on a pedestal, I’ve always looked at myself as more of an equal to others. Or I don’t try to act better. I just really do my thing and share things that are working for me, you know, the hokey dork or app Sumo or Sumo me. And so I’m never really trying to seem like I’m above everyone else. I know, some people that you know, are online, or, you know, other people, and just in general do that. And that’s just never been the way that I prefer to come across. When I say like, I don’t want the world to be a bunch of nose, it’s kind of like, if the only option for food was at the same restaurant, the same dish, that would be pretty boring. Yeah. And so one of the things in my life is that I love change and variety. And it’s also embracing what you’re good at, you know, when I got fired at Facebook, and then you know, quit meant and, and so forth. I was like, Man, I’m never going to get jobs. And this is always going to suck. And then I finally started looking at it differently, I changed the playing field. So what my friend calls and change the playing field. And I think we have to look at is like embracing the things that you’re really good at, and I’m really good at starting stuff exceptional. Am I good at maintaining stuff? Not so much do this more, I just don’t want to. And so I think that the two things, one, you’re right, maybe I’m not myself a little bit too much. But I think you know, diversity of food and people is always generally beneficial. And I think if things aren’t going well just try to look at the things that you do do well instead,
David Ralph [56:22]
because I find it engaging that you have done that a couple of times, you know, if you hadn’t done that, I don’t think I would have seen the real Noah. And I generally feel that you are being as open as you possibly can on this show today. And you’re sort of not holding anything back.
Noah Kagan [56:39]
One of the things just a quick, you know, tactic or thing, but I’ll tell you, I just I’m generally pretty open. Because what I found David and what I really enjoy about it is that, like if you ask me how my morning was, you know, I would tell you well, I had a really good omelet, had a decent conversation and some coffee and it was, you know, the weather’s really nice out in Austin. And what most people say is Oh, good. And I found that personally when it filters out people that I want to spend more time with. And secondly, it really opens up conversations and connections. Because really, without people in the world, that’s all we have, like without everybody else. no motive is just you because I thought about this, I’d be like it’d be pretty boring place. And the more that you can find people that you really get energy from and vice versa, the more that I found that life is enjoyable. And so I’m that’s why I generally try to share as much as possible about how I’m feeling how my businesses, my relationships, and so forth. Because I find that, you know, it makes my energy go up with all the other people I can connect with.
David Ralph [57:31]
And are you more like that now? Are you more authentic to yourself? Because I know when you sort of, um, it went a bit wrong at Facebook. I’ve been reading things and it doesn’t sound like but know about were speaking to now that is, you know, humble, as much as competent. Are you more yourself now? Did you go through a phase where wasn’t really yourself?
Noah Kagan [57:54]
I don’t know. I think I was myself then too. I went through a phase like even two years ago where I wasn’t like I didn’t you like myself like I was depressed and and feel sexual. I didn’t know who I was. And you’re still yourself. It’s just that’s the phase of yourself that you’re in for that period of time. And so you know, you go through different phases. And I think one of the things from Facebook in life that I think I’m actually pretty good at is that whether things are bad or good, which all of us face everyone, Obama, Branson, whoever the queen, it’s more about how do I learn from the situation to make the next things better? And I think that’s one thing I strive at, where when I have someone have a bad meeting with me, I don’t just say that meeting stopped, I say, all right, well, let me be more aware that next time I invite people to hang out, I’m more aware of that and more cautious about who I hang out with. I mean, I never do it again. But I really kind of helped me guide myself to make the next situations even better.
David Ralph [58:43]
So So why is your big.in life? If we look back on your timeline, and we’re going to play the words, actually, I’m going to play him now because I’m important. And then I’m going to ask you that question afterwards.
Unknown Speaker [58:52]
I’m supposed to cry,
David Ralph [58:54]
no crying, we’re building. This is Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [58:58]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [59:33]
So as Steve Jobs was saying, You can’t look back. And really you it’s it’s a mix. And so you’ve got certain dots, but lead you to where you are. What would you be your big dot, the one that you go, yeah, that really was the changing part of my life.
Noah Kagan [59:53]
The big. I mean, Facebook was probably the biggest inflection. I mean, I’ve had a few different inflection points, kind of like local minimums, like Facebook was a big thing about not trying to put myself first and putting it you know what I’m creating first. And the difference between working with shitty people and great people. It taught me a lot of different amazing things. And then, with my last business before app Sumo, I was in a payments business. And that was another great lesson where I just was realizing like, all right, when I work on things I enjoy, I can stick with it when it’s hard. Like when times got tough with that business, I was like, all right, screw it, I’m out. So that was one clear lesson. And the other lesson was, when I work with people I enjoy, like just being much more cautious and much more slow with who I work with. With that business, I worked with great guys. But when we work together, there was definitely poison. It was very toxic. And so it made me very cognizant of like, I only want to work with people I really, really like. And so I can’t say there is one dot like I think fix was probably one of the bigger dots. But I’ve never wanted to be a martyr and be like, Oh, look at me Facebook. I mean, everyone goes through tough shit. I mean, it just it’s inevitable, you’re going to go through tough times. And what really comes down to it is just, you know, persevering, learning what went wrong and then making it better for the future.
David Ralph [1:01:08]
But but just you know, I don’t want to hop back at baseball, but
Noah Kagan [1:01:11]
it really arco a man,
David Ralph [1:01:12]
it really did strike me as amazing. But and it’s more amazing now, because I’m speaking to you, and you seem such a deep thinker, and you seem very sensitive. And you’re aware of so many things that actually at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg pulled you to the side and actually kind of gave you advice, but it didn’t sort of sink in at that time that you needed to change. Why was that? Why when when the owner of Facebook, one of the richest people on earth, I don’t know if he is now but actually pushed you to the side and gives you advice. It didn’t quite hit home because I’m sure it would hit home with you. Now, the November I’m speaking to now, who is possibly one of the most thoughtful people that I’ve had on the show, I can just hear every question I pose, you are thinking fully the answer and the fact that you kind of turn direction and you got me thinking as well, I can see but your brain just constantly goes goes goes. So why do you think at that time, it didn’t resonate with you and it didn’t hit home? Like it should?
Noah Kagan [1:02:14]
I think you know, two things. One, a lot of the stuff that I tell you know, we’re talking to your listeners about they’ll never learn until they experience experiences like the best teacher possible. It’s the best book you can ever read. And until you experience things, you kind of just don’t take it, you take it for granted. So that’s number one. And I think we so that’s number one. And I think Secondly, we don’t take time, and I’m probably you know I’m guilty of this lately is that we don’t take as much time to write or reflect through therapy or writing about what’s going on. Some people do it through meditation, some people do it through walking, some people do it through extended showers. But we take all this time, like this is a good example. I know for myself, I only read new books. And someone asked me like you have your favorite books on your shelf, cuz I want to keep my favorite books on my shelf, like when’s the last time you’ve read any of them? And I was like, I never read it. I just I read them once. And that’s it. It’s like, Well, why are you reading new ones when you have so many great old ones? And, and I think the key message that that dropped the drew drew on me and I think the draw from any of your listeners is that breakout time in your week 15. I’m actually going to do with myself after this call to allocate time my week where I’m in normally I do it through therapy when I’m taking a break, but take time out to reflect on what’s going well, what’s not going well. And and that’s really how you improve and create a life that you that you want to be living.
David Ralph [1:03:33]
But still, but why did you know? Really take that advice, but Mark Zuckerberg was giving you at that time? Because you would when you you would take that now you would listen to
Noah Kagan [1:03:44]
him and go I mean, well, that’s the difference. I wouldn’t work at Facebook now. Like you could if you paid me a million dollars cash, I would not work at Facebook.
David Ralph [1:03:51]
But you would still take me years, wouldn’t you still take the advice of somebody if they were honestly saying to you that you had to assess yourself? Surely you will.
Noah Kagan [1:04:01]
I think the the way that I thought about this about a year ago, I the way I look at true intelligence is how you filter feedback. And so I think if someone said that to me now I’d probably be a lot more like, yeah, I went through that before. And I know now, but you have to, you know, intelligence is saying, right, I’m getting feedback, I have to thank you for giving me feedback, which is always a great thing I have to choose, you know, which one will actually serve what I want to be doing. And at that time, I still would probably be doing the same. I do the exact same things I did, I wouldn’t go back and change them. The only thing you know, I guess what I was saving for the end part. But there’s something there like I will How can I learned sooner or younger about you know, making those kind of choices? And I’ll save that for the closing which you said you wanted to said to say for you? Yeah.
David Ralph [1:04:46]
So let’s let’s bring it up then. So this is the end of the show that this is the Sermon on the mic. And is it a bit when I send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self? And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Noah, what advice would you give him? Well, I’m intrigued to find out what you can say because I’m gonna play the two and you out this is the Sermon on the mic.
Noah Kagan [1:05:28]
Oh, man, I was about to get emotional.
You said I had to cry. So I’m trying to get some onions up from refrigerator. In terms of closing for everyone listening out there. Thank you for taking the time to hear me and David riffraff today, and hopefully it’s you can take action today. And right now, when you start this podcast, the thought about this about you know, if I had to go back to 21 year old Noah, after he wakes up from being drunk 16 year old Noah who I don’t know, maybe things you can do everything. The overall thing I guess I would say for myself is looking to be with people who have gone to where you want to go. And that’s one thing I’m starting just now to finally realize, which is you know, the people that have gone where you want to go can really help guide you to get there and really putting in the effort and time to making that a reality. And that’s something I think I’ve always kind of strive for, and putting yourself you know, with those people in around those people like when I went to you know, I didn’t really ever get that and it’s something now I’m finally making an effort to 21 year old No, I’d say you know, one of the things I’m always happy with is just keep going towards the things you enjoy. And there will be tough times with it. But as long as you’re working on things that you’re excited about, I’ve always made the most money after I’ve done them it’s never been about the money. It’s been like man, I really want a conference. Okay, and while I made money during that conference, that’s surprising. And the more that you can keep going towards things that you’re excited to be creating the more that you’ll persevere and actually make them a reality.
Keeping tacos and
yeah, I don’t think there should be a work life balance for you. I think when you’re excited about things work your ass off and when you need to recharge yourself and like David said take that time out to really you know do the things you enjoy and with the people that you enjoy
David Ralph [1:07:14]
know how can our audience connect with you sir?
Noah Kagan [1:07:17]
My marketing blog is the best way to you know read the stuff I talked about for how to grow your business do marketing it’s okay dork calm and I have a special ok.com slash join up dots Twitter’s at Noah Kagan k ga and and then the you know the two other ways is Sumo me calm. Sumo me calm which is a free tool to grow your website traffic or app Sumo calm which is a free newsletter to help you kick ass as a startup or as you’re running a business
David Ralph [1:07:46]
no thank you so much for spending time with us today joining up the dots we’re going to have all those links on the show notes Please come back again when you have more dots to join up as I do believe that by joining those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures network how you can thank you so much
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices including the two that changed his life head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots
David Ralph [1:08:29]
you thought you got rid of me now I’m just gonna ask you a favor anyone out there who’s enjoyed the show and has enjoyed all the shows. Could you go to iTunes and leave a review the more reviews I get the better the show will perform and then it’s a win win you’ll be getting me every single day for the rest of your life don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But yeah, iTunes David Ralph join up dots and I love you so much or even come down to walk the dog. Thanks very much. Bye bye