Between 17 and 24 years old, I built 2 companies... that failed. Why did they fail? Fear. Fear can cripple entrepreneurs and businesses before they’ve even started. Fear of the unknown, fear of making a wrong decision, fear of embarrassment… It’s the internal battle and if you don’t think it’s happening, you’re lying to yourself. Every successful entrepreneur, from Jeff Bezos to Elon Musk to Richard Branson, was once a terrified young adult that no-one knew.
In 2011, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, started giving $100k to young entrepreneurs under 22. ...but only if they would drop out of college. $100k paid to 20 applicants per year without taking any equity at all. There was nothing in it for him. So why did he do it?
I’ve got to come clean... I’m not a guru. I can’t read your future, don’t perform miracles, and I’m about as enlightened as a stick. I’m just a SaaS-obsessed business coach that has made WAY too many mistakes, enough to fill entire encyclopaedias of ‘what not to do’. But I did do something right:
Alright, fine. I’ll go on record and say it. There is a huge difference between marketers who call themselves Growth Hackers… and those who actually know the SCIENCE of it. Using the term ‘Growth Hacker’ in your LinkedIn bio doesn’t matter. It never did. All that matters are the actual numbers.
12 months, 1 piece of paper, A4 only. Does it fit? Can you write a plan for your next year on a single piece of paper? If not, then… your plan is too complex. (This is coming from a guy who LOVES spreadsheets.) Your next 12 months are going to fly by whether you want them to or not. The question is: Are you going to get 12-months’ worth of life out of them?
Ever noticed my black wedding ring? Want to know a secret about it? It’s electronic (made by Oura). It measures a lot of cool stuff about my body, including my sleep. I didn’t care about sleep for YEARS. It wasn’t until I had kids (aka: human alarm clocks) that I had to dial in my routine and structure.
It’s a gift... and a curse… I bet you have it too. You can’t get your mind off of it, can’t shut it down. You wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you didn’t have it… What is it? The Entrepreneurial Muscle. It’s that thing that makes you analyze businesses wherever you see them, that makes you criticize marketing material every day. You do cost-vs-revenue math in the supermarket aisle… count seats in the airplane and multiply by ticket cost… try to
When I was 26 years old, my company Spheric was growing steadily. We were doing about $2.5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR), with about 16 employees. But… I felt suffocated. I was struggling to cope with the daily challenges that came with business, so I reached out to a mentor for help. The first thing he did? He asked about my routines.
I’ve never been one to watch wrestling. Rarely ever step in the ring for a boxing match. But despite not being much of a sports guy... I sure know how it feels to get slammed to the ground by life, kept in it’s chokehold, and kicked in the gut while I’m there. Failure after failure, problem after problem, it was mentors and business coaches that helped me through everything that went wrong.
Have you ever met someone that got good at something REALLY fast? I mean… learned a new language in a matter of weeks, started a new business that takes off in months or achieved a result in a tenth of the usual time? These superhumans exist. I’ve met them. And I’ll tell you something: