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Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan was #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint and has since created seven multi-million dollar businesses. He founded (#1 software deals site for entrepreneurs) and wrote the instant NYT bestselling book Million Dollar Weekend.

Video Content

How to Craft A Million Dollar Business

In this episode, host Chris Do sits down with Entrepreneur Noah Kagan, the founder and CEO of AppSumo, as he shares valuable advice on cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset, recognizing business opportunities and persisting through challenges. Drawing from his personal and professional experiences, he delves into the significance of perseverance, problem-solving skills, asking the right question, and continual improvement in business. Noah Kagan emphasizes the importance of not just generating ideas but also their successful execution and the value they add. He talks about setting transformative financial goals, the power of validating business ideas, leveraging personal networks, focusing on one platform for growth, and the role of email lists. He also gives a peek into his upcoming book, 'Million Dollar Weekend'.

How to Craft A Million Dollar Business

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Feb 21

How to Craft A Million Dollar Business

Finding Million Dollar Opportunities in Everyday Problems

In this episode, host Chris Do sits down with Entrepreneur Noah Kagan, the founder and CEO of AppSumo, as he shares valuable advice on cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset, recognizing business opportunities and persisting through challenges. Drawing from his personal and professional experiences, he delves into the significance of perseverance, problem-solving skills, asking the right question, and continual improvement in business. Noah Kagan emphasizes the importance of not just generating ideas but also their successful execution and the value they add. He talks about setting transformative financial goals, the power of validating business ideas, leveraging personal networks, focusing on one platform for growth, and the role of email lists. He also gives a peek into his upcoming book, 'Million Dollar Weekend'.

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Finding Million Dollar Opportunities in Everyday Problems

Episode Transcript

Noah Kagan: Every business has been done, don't worry about it. Think about it as a practice, an experiment, and you're just getting a rep in. Because what will happen is, you have your idea for your business, you Google it, Oh, this one person finally took the idea that was going to make me rich. And it's like, you didn't even know that idea 10 seconds ago.

Don't worry about them. Just think about it as an experiment and practice doing the process so you can keep doing it until you find a thing that works. And most times, if you haven't heard of it, that's an opportunity.

Chris Do: So, Noah, I got to know you a lot better, actually, through somebody that used to work for you. His name is Ayman, and that's not going to be a surprise. And the episode with Ayman was like straight fire. He was just dropping gems. And people haven't seen or listened to that. They need to check it out right now.

Uh, and so before we get too deep into this conversation, can you do me a favor? Can you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about who you are so there's some context and I'm just going to jump right in.

Noah Kagan: Uh, who am I? That's always a funny question, right? Like, do you start with business? How do we start?

I'd say in the business world, I've been figuring it out like most of us out there and I figured out I don't like day jobs. And then I figured entrepreneurship is the way that you can control your livelihood and become a time millionaire. And you can also be a cash millionaire. And so I started so many different businesses after working at Facebook and working at I was one of the early people at both those companies. I tried so many different businesses to eventually find which is the number one site online for software deals for solopreneurs. And it's been an insane ride, promoting these deals, hiring people, losing the team, going to India, where today, you know, it's 80 million dollar business a year revenue, which is unbelievable.

It all started with $12. You know, just to show that anyone else can do that out there. And I wrote Million Dollar Weekend, which is my playbook on how exactly anyone can copy it. And, uh, who am I? Yeah, I think I'm trying to live this world a little bit more fun and generous than I found it. That's why I'm out here.

Chris Do: I like that there's a lot to unpack in the few things that you've said, so let me go back to, to Ayman for a second. 'cause I think that's the, the biggest thing that I have as a CEO. When does, when does it occur to you that maybe you're better off having somebody do it for a period of time? If I understand your relationship with Amen.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. A lot of your audience is, is creative people, right? Chris?

Chris Do: Creative business people. Yes.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, and I think there's a stigma and disbelief that you can either be creative or you can be in business. And I always think about like painters and artists specifically, and the most famous painters are definitely not the best.

Like, like Damien Hirst, I think he's pretty famous, right? Yes. This guy's stuff is, it's fine. It's fine.

Chris Do: We're finding words. Damien Hirst is one of my favorite artists, but we'll, we'll let that slide for right now. Oh my God, his stuff.

Noah Kagan: Right. So same with like Warhol. But these guys are the best business operators. They're very excellent business operators and I think that's a great lesson for every creative business person out there is that you can do both. And your question was about that, which is, yes, you can be creative and my favorite book all time is Million Dollar Weekend. But my second favorite book of all time is The Artist's Way.

Which I think, you know, if you're a creative you should 100% read that afterwards. And it's the reality that, you know, you can be creative if you don't have any customers. It's hard to make that a living. And you don't have to be a starving artist anymore. That's a misnomer. That's just not true.

And so in terms of delegating, it's funny because you're asking about delegating. I'm sharing all these things about examples where that's not the case. Uh, where you just be an artist by yourself. You run it like a business and that comes through delegation. That comes through how do I practice hiring people doing things I don't want to do?

Or can I learn some of those areas? So for me with AppSumo. I found out that I solved the problem people are excited about and that's what you're doing in business. You're saying, Hey, I drew a piece of art. I made a piece of software. I drew, I made music and people are excited about this. Cool. That's, that's the fun and hard part.

And then the easy part is running it. And you know, it's challenging to stick with it, which is a whole nother discussion. But I got to a point where I didn't want to do it anymore. And I think this is not really talked about as you, you know, people will say, I don't want to do a business because I don't want to do the work anymore.

Great. Don't I can trade my money for someone else's time. And that's not rude. People are like, Oh, you're, you're big meanie. I'm like, no, that's not true. Like Ayman had a day job at Microsoft that he was fine about, but he always wanted to be an entrepreneur. So it was a great deal for him to make a lot of money learning how to run a business that was already working.

And now he's gone off to be one of the best CEO coaches in the world. I have him myself. And so for me, It's really recognizing, how do you want to spend your time? Because sometimes people have a business of one and they're super happy about it. And great, do that. And there's sometimes people who are like, I'd like to make more money and I'd like to just spend my day doing art.

And you can do that too. And that's how I felt with AppSumo, where I didn't want to keep running the day to day of the business. And so I looked for a long time and then it took a long time to train him, but to get him up to speed and run the business, which he did a great job of.

Chris Do: Okay, there's a point here that I think a lot of people are not going to be able to understand at all.

You're doing your craft, whether you're running an app company, changing the world that way, or you're selling creative services, I think so few people link their whole identity and their personality in that business that they just can't even delegate the simple things, let alone say, here, you take the driver's wheel.

So what was it? Can you pinpoint one or two things that was happening that you're like, I don't want to do this anymore. I need to find a solution for this. And then, and then I want to ask you questions about what you saw in Ayman that made you think he's the guy.

Noah Kagan: So for everyone out there, hiring is like dating.

Chris, like your wife, was it your first date? And you're like, okay, this is the first person you've ever dated.

Chris Do: No, of course not. I wasn't.

Noah Kagan: Okay. Well, I told my girlfriend that last night and she's like, you've never been with anyone but me. And I was like, that is true. You're the first. And that's, and so what I recommend for everyone out there is thinking about how do I practice leadership and you can practice leadership through hiring someone.

And I would recommend hiring an assistant or hiring even your friend or hiring someone, anyone as a practice of realizing leadership and delegation. And that's a lot of business ultimately. Right, and doesn't mean you can delegate your responsibility or you can, they'll magically solve all your problems, but practice it and then you'll get better at it.

So the easiest one is to hire an assistant. I like the site, for 20 bucks, 10 bucks, you can hire an assistant. That's an amazing mom. I think that's good practice. Uh, and I, you know, that's something I have to learn as a skill over time. Now, what I think what you're asking, Chris, and it's a really great question is like, when do you know it's time to hire someone?

When do you know it's time to say, hey, I want to go back to my art or hey, I want to do the marketing or hey, I don't want to do this anymore. And so number one, when you're asking that question. That's a great time to start thinking about it and it's probably a better time to start thinking about it six months before that because it, it, hiring and dating, you have to practice and your first date doesn't always work out.

Now the other way that you can look for it is, is just looking at your calendar. How much of your calendar sucks? Like how much are you spending in, in meetings or doing sales or doing marketing or doing programming or doing customer support that you don't want to be spending time doing? And so that's the second time I would then reflect on, you know, how do you want to spend your time?

And then it, I think you have to realize to hire it takes a lot of time. And the other thing doesn't talk about it does take time for people to ramp up. So you have to be patient. And I, and I, I would say with all businesses, one of the things I'm learning in my 40's now is that there is high value in finding people to work with for very long periods of time.

And given that you like them, pay them almost whatever it takes. A lot of times my favorite way to pay people is just ask them how much money they want to make. And then help them get that much, that amount of money. Ayman told me a crazy number, 10X what he was making at Microsoft. And I was like, okay, let's get you there.

Let's figure out how you can create so much money for the business that you have to have that much. Uh, and so in terms of when I noticed it, yeah, I was definitely within those two areas when I was asking the question, which I was like, I don't want to be running a deal site right now for now. And that's a good way to put it for now.

It doesn't mean forever. And I just, in terms of my time, I didn't want to be spending it in that business. I was more excited. And this is a big thing in business. I've got to call it out. I was like, Oh, the next thing is going to be the easy thing and I wish it was, but it's like, you know, the best way to have a good relationship, work on the relationship. Not get a new wife.

Right. And you know that you're married. And guess what? I love this quote. It's like you want variety in a relationship. Date one person. Uh, and these things, they take time to develop. So you have to, you do have to stick with the person and they have to also stick with the business because the best business is the one that's working.

So if you've even gotten like one customer. Awesome. Now let's get a second. So I was talking about the law of 100. Like just do 100 videos. Get and make 100 calls. Do 100 days and don't quit too soon. Because if you have something even working a little bit, like my first sale with, 12 bucks.

Yesterday we did $280,000 in one day. One day, I can't believe it, that was beyond my dreams. But you do have to start and then you have to be patient that it does take time whether you're hiring someone else or whether you're doing it yourself.

Chris Do: You're opening so many threads here. My, uh, my hand is having a hard time keeping up as I want to follow up on everything that you're saying.

But here's what I want to do. I want to make it super concrete. I want to know if there's a story or an inflection point because you're giving us great advice like do this if you're asking these kinds of questions, but I want to know Noah's story specifically, like what happened. Somebody came in the office, you're like, that's it. I'm done with this. I need to. Was there a moment like that where it became clear to kind of really personalize the story?

Noah Kagan: By the way, that's a great question to ask in interviews. Like, tell me the story about it. Don't tell me like generic things. So thank you for recommending that. You know, I think people imagine that to start a business, one, you have to have some special ability and that's not true.

There's a lot of ordinary people that do very well. And two, they're like, well, this is just a thing I enjoy doing that can't really be a business. And the answer is yes. If that's what you want, and I didn't start AppSumo to be a big business. I wanted to promote software deals because I thought that was a problem that people had.

I wanted to be a customer. I want to make 3,000 bucks a month. My freedom number. That's all I wanted. And it wasn't to make a business with teammates or a business that made any money necessarily that much more. And over time though, there's a plateau in all of our lives. And so with AppSumo after about four years, we were, I was a little just frustrated with the business.

I went to India. I walked around India alone for a month, grew a beard, did a lot of yoga. And, uh, I think I was afraid of who I could become. And I was afraid of ruining AppSumo. And so I thought the best way to solve that was to get away from it and avoid the hard part. And I think that's kind of the message of my book and really my life for others is like what's the hard thing we're avoiding and it's not as hard as we think and we can overcome it.

And so I thought if I moved on to another project and avoided AppSumo and found someone safe to it, to do it, they could do it better than I can, because I couldn't do it. And then maybe this new thing will, will be easier for me. And so it took about a year to find Ayman. And this is one of the things I think no, no one ever really hears about.

You don't hear about all the things that failed. The same thing is true for Ayman. Ayman applied for our marketing position at AppSumo and I, we rejected him. He rejected him. Same when I applied at to be their marketing director. They rejected me. And I think for a lot of people, they get rejected once and they give up.

And just think about it. Like, okay, well, at least go twice. Give yourself a second chance. You know, who knows what the upside of an ask is? That's why I teach it. Uh, that's why one of the core things I teach people is like, how do you get better at asking? So I even applied for the marketing thing and then we rejected him.

And then this is the thing that really separated him. I asked a friend Charlie, I said who's a great person you think could be our CEO? That's an easy way to hire people with referrals. He said this Ayman guy. I looked up my inbox and Ayman actually made a video. Do you know about this?

Chris Do: No, I don't. Tell me the story. I want to hear it.

Noah Kagan: Oh, this video. It was like an AppSumo-esque, like our brand is very silly. And it was like, yo dog, it's Ayman. You got deals? I got deals. You want to save money on software? It was like this kind of over the top infomercial. It was just a little bit different than everyone else. And it showed that he was at least willing to work.

I think a lot of people, you were like, even this, this, this chat, I'm telling you about things, but I'm not showing you things. So now talking about the story is showing it. And so I recall that Ayman put in a little bit more effort. And then we, we, the way we like to hire at AppSumo is we test. So everyone starts as a contractor.

So we tested him for, you have to get two deals in two weeks. And that's still something we do this day. And he, he got two deals in two weeks. And then it was like, all right, Ayman, you need to make 120,000 a month and don't mess it up. And while, and we, we spent about a year ramping him up. That was like his, his, uh, Bible, his Quran, his Torah.

Like to make this 120,000 and it was really impressive. I have to give him a lot of credit with AppSumo. You know, once you, most businesses are really simple. The ones that work are really simple. And I think people think it has to be complicated, but AppSumo is very simple. Find an awesome product, negotiate a price, send an email.

And you just do that over and over and over and find that for yourself. Find that in your own creative agency business. And Ayman executed that very well. And so for two years he did that and we went off to build Uh, which was email pop ups. We thought that, uh, what we were noticing with AppSumo is we do these deals and some of the deals would like bang, we'd make like a hundred thousand and some big deals would make five thousand.

And I think it was nice. You know, one of the things I've noticed as I'm older, it's like bringing in new blood. Bringing in fresh eyes, people who don't know what they don't know, uh, that are also excited to be there. And, Ayman was very excited in those two years and just, he executed everything. He did the customer support by himself, he did the marketing by himself, he did the sales by himself.

Uh, there wasn't really much programming, but he did all of it. And I think that's a core part of all of our businesses, at least understanding it before you start delegating it away too quickly. Then after two years, the other business was doing well and Ayman, It was running AppSumo. It was making, we were making enough money on our new project. They were like, hey man, you could do whatever you want. And that's where, you know, things got unleashed.

Chris Do: Mmm. Okay. Let me quickly recap. And we'll get into your early history and how seemingly you're unemployable. But we'll get to that later if there's time. So you find this company, AppSumo. You run it for four years.

You hit a point in which you're like, I don't know if this is what I want to do. Maybe I'm not the best person to do this. You go on your walkabout to India. Why India of all places? What did that hold for you?

Noah Kagan: Yeah, I felt at some point in AppSumo I wasn't proud of the work we were doing. Like, I didn't like the products we were promoting, and I think this is true for most people.

You trade your 9-to-5 for a 5-to-9, meaning you, you, you do art or you do something creative. Because you like it and then eventually you're not doing the thing you actually really liked. And for me, I like promoting deals. I like being online. I like getting attention. I like helping. And I was doing less and less of that.

And so if you look online, you look at the Beatles, who I love, and I loved, you know, Steve Jobs. And it seemed like when they were at inflection points in their life, they went to India. It's true. So I was at a conference. Uh, you know, in, in I think New Jersey, but from this guy named Ryan Lee, and I was talking with my buddy Rob, and I was just like, I feel very, I don't really like the work I'm doing.

I don't like how I'm living. And I don't like my girlfriend. I was like, maybe I'll need to go to India like my idols did. Yeah. Now in retrospect, it seems like. Avoidant strategy versus just dealing with things I didn't like work, I could have fixed that. Didn't like my girlfriend, could fix that. I could have actually just faced the problems.

But I think a lot of times in life we do these things to realize that we can do them and we can overcome stuff that we're afraid of. So going to India for a month is, it's an interesting place. And shout out to all the Indian people out there. It's, it's a really impressive culture and country, but definitely for myself was what I needed to realize that I could do these things.

Chris Do: Okay. So you don't have to go to India. It's awesome if you can go to India, but that, that period for you to just think and be kind of unplugged, away, change your environment to scenery.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, well one, you can just go to an Indian restaurant. You can just go to an Indian restaurant. Like, I had Indian food last night. And the, uh, the other thing that's kind of crazy about that story was that the month I left, there was only four guys at AppSumo, Ayman wasn't there yet, it was the best month we've had in years.

Chris Do: So the minute you leave, things get better? Is that what you're saying?

Noah Kagan: Well, I think sometimes we're, we're holding on so tight to our relationship or we're holding on so tight to our egos and our identities or to like how things should be and maybe letting go a little bit and seeing what happens when you let go and letting the team and letting your friends or letting people around you support you or do their things and Chad, Eric and Anton were, they did amazing.

Chris Do: So you got to the point, you're like, okay, I have perspective. I I can't be this guy. Somebody else needs to do this. You said, uh, also to prevent you from becoming the person you're afraid of becoming. That's a, that's probably a whole different podcast there. Yeah. And this guy who submits for the marketing position, you're like, nah, but somebody's like, Hey, uh, your friend, I think Charlie says, "Hey, hey, check out this Ayman guy."

You're like, "wait a minute. I, I remember this guy." And so he makes that extra effort and he tells you culturally. He's as goofy as the brand is. They're like, "maybe I give this guy a shot" and he comes in, he starts doing the marketing stuff. You give him clear marching orders and then it hits like two years after his initial period. Is that when it starts to blow up?

Noah Kagan: No. I mean, it didn't blow up nothing. I think when AppSumo success is that we're not, we've never, we've had definitely inflection points and there's been key moments.

Chris Do: Mm-Hmm.

Noah Kagan: But we have compounded business time. Compounded business time. And I don't think this is recognized enough, which it's like over and over and over. And we keep improving slowly year after year. And Ayman, I, I came from Silicon Valley where Facebook, it's like, if you're not a 1,000x-ing, you're a failure. Even though, you know, 1x-ing is pretty damn good. And Ayman was much more slow and steady, which I, I do believe the phrase like, Easy come, easy go. So if it comes fast, it goes away fast, just like crypto. And I think that's true for business where if you can like slow and steady, keep adding and adding up and up, up, up and up and up, it really compounds over time. And I'd say the other thing in terms of hiring other people, you can't pay for caring.

You can't buy caring. So it's very hard to buy someone that cares about what you do. But if someone cares what you do, that, that is something really special. And I think we've had a good, we've done really well with that. I assume a lot of the people are entrepreneurs or immigrants or they're, they're currently still entrepreneurs.

They have, I just had a meeting with Nick who he's got a teeth whitening business called Perfect 10. I got to give him a shout out up in Dallas. If you need teeth whitening, but he also runs our head of growth. And so Ayman really cared and he was also a customer. I think those are important points where it doesn't, you know, some customers think we just party all day or it's like, no, we're pretty much working at a desk like this. That's like my day. You know, I get a chat here, which I love, but a lot of it's work and ideally, it's great work that you like the part of what you're working on. Um, and after two years though, Ayman, Oh, that's like an Ayman tribute. Cause I do owe a lot to Ayman. There's a lot of amazing people in all of our lives.

I think that's something to kind of recognize. And yeah, Ayman slowly started and this is something Where I think he really is better at than me really slowly. How do we just keep improving what's working instead of doing new things? Like I'm a new, I was a new things guy. I think I've evolved from his influence, but he was like, "this ad stuff is working."

Like I started doing ads and I got it to maybe I was doing about a thousand a day when I, when I left. And then by the time Ayman came back at CEO, which is a story I'd like to share. It's kind of crazy. Um, I think we got it up to like 100,000. And then we did affiliate, they tried affiliate. And again, tested, then invested in.

He tried affiliate where they just manually with a spreadsheet gave people like Bitly links and were like, "hey, see if this works." That worked. Like it actually, people were driving sales. Then we did iDev affiliate, which is like a cheap plugin. Then we did another thing and now we use Impact, which is a $100, $120,000 a year.

So, what Ayman did really excellently is that he didn't try to fast grow it. He said, "let's just slowly do 10% a year, give or take. And because you're not rushing. You have, you can be more creative and you know, you're not forced to make money. And what are the things that are already working and how do we just keep making it work better until there's no more left of it?"

And I think that's something everyone hears that stuff, but this way and no one does it. It's not a secret, right? There's no internet guru claiming there's some like massive, you know, here's a creative sneaky thing. It's like, okay, you have something working. How much more of it are you doing? Let me give examples.

Even today we have video ambassadors. We sponsor video creators. We tested it last January. Now there's a team of six people. Recruiting, sponsoring video creators. We tested it, it worked, now we doubled it. But that also means there's a lot of things that don't work. And I think too many people do so many things that don't work and things that are working, they're not fully maximizing.

Chris Do: That makes a lot of sense. Okay, so slow and steady growth. And I can tell a little bit, and I'm not professing to know either one of you really well, but I can sense a different energy. You know, Ayman is like Terminator vision, slow and steady, nothing flashy, just do the work, do the work. And you're a guy who's like, I got ideas, I'm going to do this, I want to go to India, I want to start another company.

You know, even in our conversations, I got this, I got that, I'm having a hard time keeping up with you. And you're saying now, you know what? Yeah, that's all great in Silicon Valley in terms of how they see things, but for a lot of businesses, just looking at incremental improvement, trying a few experiments, and then just quadrupling down on the things that work is a pretty good recipe for success. And I think everyone can get their head wrapped around that.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, the problem, Chris, is everyone can wrap their head. One, a lot of people don't even get their first dollar. So that's why, you know, I do run an 80 million dollar a year business. And I don't say that as a flex, but all of it started with $12. All of it started with basics, right? Like getting your first dollar, practicing asking people things.

And then, yes, there are things you can playbook you can follow. But it's some of the basics that people miss out on. Yeah, that does end up leading to these these types of things. And there's different energies across different people and there's different ways of running businesses. There's not only one way.

It's just finding the way that works best for you and finding something you're excited to work on for the next 10 years. Like, I can't, I can't believe I get to do this stuff. This is so cool. And guess what? Everyone else can too. This is the craziest part about business. It doesn't matter. It doesn't discriminate.

You don't have to be short. You don't have to be tall. You don't have to be Asian. You don't have to be anything. You can be anything. You don't even have to, you know, in sports you have, there's like, you have to be an age, you have to, no, entrepreneurship, it's worldwide. And anyone can succeed in it. And I think that realizing that it's a skill and an ability and a language that we can all learn is really empowering.

Because I think there's times that we're led to believe that. Oh, "Noah has some special secret sauce" like no, I've just been in the game swinging a lot for a long period of time. And yes, I do have more experience in strategies now, but I've also been in it, doing it.

Chris Do: Okay, in case, in case people are wondering, there's already two metaphors that Noah is using, sports and dating. So we'll see if there's a third metaphor that keeps weaving itself in. I'm keeping track, everybody. I'm keeping track.

Noah Kagan: I've got another, I've got more metaphors, man.

Chris Do: I'm sure you do. I bet you have a million metaphors. So we'll just wait for the next one.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, let's do it, man. I mean, yeah, different. Ayman was a different approach.

It was nice to have Ayman. You know, this is kind of, I hate sharing it because it's, you know, no one wants to hear champagne problems. The reality though, what's interesting is that when Ayman was running AppSumo, I ended up kind of retiring and I was making, I think a million or, a million, two million, three million dollars, give or take, per year.

And it was probably some of the most unsatisfying years of my life. It was, which is crazy, right? You're like, "dude, shut up, rich guy. Like, go to Turkey and get a hair transplant."

Chris Do: So you're making between one to three million dollars just sitting on the beach, and you're like, I don't like my life right now. That's what you're saying?

Noah Kagan: Yeah, isn't that crazy? Yeah. I think we all think that once we get money, life is, like, complete. Life is a lot easier. It's much better being rich. So, like, be rich and have problems than being poor and have problems. I would definitely, I would agree with that, but it's nice to find something that, that you care to work on, which we all can do. And then we work hard on it. And that's the stuff we're proud of in life. And we all can do that. And Ayman, you know, I guess we're fast forward, but Ayman quit one day and I like, I like begged him not to quit. I was so afraid of what would happen if I had to do it myself. And that's, by the way, I share these stories, not like he's rich, he's poor, whatever, he's super good looking, obviously, you know, but ridiculously good looking.

But what I share and one of the messages that's, that's to me so powerful is that ordinary people get rich and we can all do this. We can all do these hard things. You don't have to be a millionaire. You could be a thousandaire. You could even have just weekend money or date money. And it's available to everyone.

I think there's a lot of messages out there about the complications and expensive courses and the complexity that's unnecessary in having success. And we just have to face ourselves. And that's what business is. Business is the best way to learn about yourself.

Chris Do: I agree. You're speaking my language here. I want to follow up something, um, that you mentioned that I find super fascinating. So you're like, okay, I realize maybe I'm not the best suited for this, right? Anytime to reflect and to kind of think about what I want to do with my life. Yeah. You bring a guy in. Who first didn't qualify, but for whatever reason you're like, let's give him a shot. There's something here. And you're like, test, test, test in the very absolute way test. So you give us very clear objectives. And this is important for all you entrepreneurs out there to say, like, here's what you're going to be measured against. Go do this and then watch them and then keep watching them.

But the thing that I want to ask you about, which I think is a beautiful concept. Which is ask people what they want to make and design a structure so that they can make it. And you said he's asking for like 10x what he used to make. And without getting into the specific numbers, unless you want to disclose that, how does one do that? Because that sounds like a great way to like bring the very best talent to your team. Can you break it down for me how you can structure something like that?

Noah Kagan: The easiest way to think about how to get paid more is to create more money. People call it value, right, but really it's money. So, the way that Ayman can approach it, you know, and this is true for any, any role, right?

If you don't, if you're not getting paid enough, and you're like, well, I'm not getting paid enough, you can do something about it. If you're in customer support making 50 and an engineer's making 250, you can do something about it. Now with Ayman, he was running the entire AppSumo business by himself for the first year.

And I think in year two, we added a revenue, like a performance variable. I'm not going to share his numbers. He can share it. It's his private numbers. I'll share mine. But the idea was, hey Noah, if I can get the business, let's just, I'm going to use an example, from five million to ten million, That creates an extra five million bucks.

And let's say the profit, that's revenue, let's say profit's a million. So you're getting a million extra dollars. Like, it's pretty good. Like, you think I could get like 10,000 or 100,000 of that? Like 10% or 5%? Like 50,000? Yeah. And so think about it, value based pricing. I think that's, frankly, in everything.

Just much easier than worried about the hourly or Having negotiations on, uh, well, this is what market rate is. Don't compete with the market. Be the market. And so if you can make more money for any company, it's very easy to justify your worth. And now for me as a business operator, the most, one of my most valuable things that I'm working is people, is people sticking around for a while.

I have different, like my YouTube team quit. Had a guy quit last week. Transition costs are very pricey. Very, very pricey. And so I regret not just doubling the salary for the YouTube team. And just making it easy, like a no brainer for them to stay. I definitely regret that. Uh, and that was with Ayman where it was like every year, how much you want to make?

Okay, let's get you that number. Uh, and then it made it easy for him to want to succeed. Most people I would say are ambitious. Like most people want to be smart. So give them a destination. And that's what I learned from Zuckerberg. Give them one thing to do. Don't give them like, here's 10 KPIs. What's the one you want me to do?

And give them a timeline. You want to buy when? Okay. And ideally, what I think is necessary as well is like, what are the principles or boundaries that they should be playing the game by? All right. So with Ayman it was like, don't mess this up. Like you have, and his was, I believe, 4-1-1. So he had his goal, 120,000 a month, that was every month.

And his formula, the boundaries that he could operate in were 4-1-1, which is four deals, one freebie, one AppSumo, creative product. Something around that. And that was a very. And then as you scale, it's more complicated, but you need principles to help make sure everyone can operate without you.

Chris Do: That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing that with us. So for him, and many people are actually in sales marketing or running a company, the path for financial upside is pretty clear. They can. literally have an impact on what the revenue is going to look like. What if you're in a position where you're hiring someone but their connection to the revenue isn't as clear? How do you build a compensation package for them, or do you?

Noah Kagan: So I'll share stories, I won't call out the people, but there's someone at AppSumo who says, I want to raise. And I was like, okay, why? Life's more expensive. I know. So it is for our customers too. We don't just get free money. We have to make sure that they're happy.

And if they pay us, then we get more money. And so what are you doing so that we can give you more money? Well, I know, but I've been here. I know. That doesn't mean our customers are more happy with us. What have you done for them? Well, well, yeah. Oh, okay. Well, so let's brainstorm. What can you do that is creating wealth, meaning the customers come back, the customers are happier, the customers spend more, the customers reform more.

And so getting closer to that is an easy way to justify your salary. And I do think with entrepreneurship, what doesn't get talked about, Chris, and you're kind of highlighting it, is whether as an employee or as an entrepreneur, you can really, as an entrepreneur, create unlimited upside. There's no limit to the amount of money you can make.

And in some jobs, a lot of them, there is a limit to your upside. And doesn't mean you should quit that job means maybe start your own business or find out how do you have more upside in your, in your current company. And so with this person at the company issue, one of the ways you can also do it is there's sites like or Radford or Carta and you can get market comp suggestions or and just be like, well, in Austin, Texas, 50% of people are paid here. Here's why I'm paid 50%. It's like, I think that's just a kind of a weak way to get paid. I think a cooler way to get paid is there's a few approaches, but I got this message from a different woman last week.

We have a lot of amazing women at AppSumo. And she said, Hey, Noah, we need to talk. That's like the worst message you can ever send someone at a company. I was like, well. There she goes. And she's one of my favorites. I love this person. She's so great. Pay people that are great more. Don't even worry about it.

It's like 10,000 or 1,000 in the grand scheme of finding someone new and hiring someone and even Ayman. It took a year to train him and a year for him to really ramp up. It wasn't like he magically came in and printed money for the business. And I think that's kind of assumed, but that's not the case. It was two years before he got to stride.

And so this woman, though, what she did, what I thought was so cool, I thought she was going to quit. I'm like, well, "are you really quitting today? I really love you. Like, what can I do?" And my philosophy in business, one, ask them for their salary, but two, be ahead of your people. Don't wait for them to tell you they're not making enough.

That means you're not looking out for them. And when you, when you get ahead of their salaries, they know that you're actually taking care of them. And so she did come to me and said, Hey, I know we do raises twice a year. We do them in April and October. A lot of times if you do it when you're smaller, it doesn't matter, but otherwise it's just too inconsistent.

Like business is good. Give us more money. Business is down. You don't take salary away. Right. And be aware, by the way, y'all, when you're running a business, you're going to make mistakes in salary. And just be okay that that's going to happen and you can change it. So she came to me with a, I think it was a two page document, Chris, showing me everything she's done, showing me market data, showing me like all the things that are coming up, and then the amount of money that she has personally been responsible for being a part of.

She's not in sales. She's not on product and engineering. She's in another group. And it made it very easy for, to justify like the amount of value she's creating for the business. Now, what most people do is they complain. Oh, you know, I'd like more money. Okay, now make it easy for your, your manager. And what they do as well is they don't show you how to get it.

They're just like, well, can you tell me how I can get more money? That doesn't make it exciting to pay you more. How do you make it easy for people to pay you more money? And you make it easy by showing them and asking like, hey, here's everything I can do and will do. I think it seems like paying me a little bit more money is a no brainer for the business.

Chris Do: I think a lot of people need to hear this part so that it's just not me saying it. At least you have another person saying it. As an employer, as a person who has to deal with these kinds of things all the time, I think employees start to think, "Well, I did my job, pay me more." And that's probably the wrong approach.

You're saying that it's an easy conversation when you can tell people your boss, your manager. Here's how I'm making money for the company in ways that you might not be aware of. Here's how I'm delivering delight or increasing customer loyalty or satisfaction. Is this something worthy of us talking about so that I can receive more money?

I think a lot of people, especially younger people, won't say which generation, but younger people just feel a certain amount of entitlement that because I'm here, I better receive an annual pay bump. Because why? So can you say it to them, dear employee, and just tell 'em how to make more money? I want you to think of that young person who wants to make more money. What would you say to them?

Noah Kagan: Aw man, I was that young, annoying asshole. Frankly, I fired a guy that was like me. , , you know? And, and it takes time to mature and everyone should get fired. 'cause then you learn about that jobs aren't guaranteed. You're replaceable, and even these businesses we work at, Facebook may not be around in a hundred years.

Elon Musk will be forgotten in a thousand years. I guarantee you, he'll be forgotten. I learned in high school that life's not fair. By Mr. Battaglia, thank you. I got a B and he wouldn't give me the A he's like, nope. This is how life's gonna be experienced. Because that's what you earned. And if you want more, you have to do more.

Like, if you want the job, and I'll tell it to if you're an employee, right, be an entrepreneur. Don't be an employee and be an entrepreneur in the company. Create more money for the company. The company will pay you more. We have a lot of CEOs at AppSumo. I'm not the only one. And there's definitely ways to make it easier for yourself.

If you're, let's just take an example, you're at a company and you're blaming the company for not paying you more. What are you doing about it? How do you take power and put together a presentation? Showing how you can make more money for the company and there are areas, let's say you're in customer support, right? Like that is a job that's, you know, you have to think about how replaceable am I? And especially with some of the AI stuff, it's definitely, I would be more aware of that, more, more thoughtful about it, and what a lot of people do, 99%, is they wait for their boss to tell them like, well, hey, you want to improve here?

You know, be the 1%. And 1% is someone in customer support making, let's say 50k saying, we should do live chat. So I tested it out or I found these options available. And what most people do is they just take what they're receiving. They don't ask or do the thing that they think will actually benefit the company.

And I, that's, you know, maybe let's say large corporations. I worked at Intel, which is a very large shitty corporation. Like that may not work. You might get promoted and you get your 6% raise. If that, but you can also get fired by Intel. And so I've always found it's less risky to work in smaller businesses or start your own.

And then as you're working with the business, recognizing where the money is being created and then try to be closer to that. And if you want to make more money, you can do it. That I think maybe that's the ultimate message. Like it is available regardless of gender or race or age or height. for you to make as much money as you want.

The money is just not given out free. A number of customers are just like, hey, AppSumo's team wants a raise, we need to give them more money. They don't care that someone in our team is requesting a pay raise. And so it's an interesting balance of making sure your customers are taken care of and your team is taken care of.

Chris Do: Time for a quick break.

But we'll be right back.

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Welcome back to our conversation.

It is impossible to ignore this. I don't know why it's there, but it's just there. So I have to set you up for the question, okay? I thought I asked Ayman Ayman controversial question, but I'm going to ask you an even more controversial question. I said, in this day and age in America, with all the resources in a developed country, with the internet, and all that you have going on, Is it possible for anyone to make $100,000 a year?

And he said, absolutely. But now I see there's this book. It says, not only can you not do $100,000, apparently you can make a million dollars in a weekend. So here's my question to you. Is it possible for everyone in America to make a million dollars if they follow a certain blueprint?

Noah Kagan: Yes, because I've seen it. I've done it and I've seen it. And if you would have asked me that even two years ago, I'd be like, maybe. Now, one question that I would, that people need to be mindful of is how quickly will you receive your million dollars? It probably won't come in the weekend, even though in the next decade someone will do that.

But it could take a year or two years or three years. So you have to practice on how to not give up too soon. Now, let me just share a story from this morning's breakfast. I had met with this guy named Patty Galloway. He's a very famous YouTube consultant. And you know how this guy Chris, you ever heard of him?

Chris Do: The name sounds very familiar, yes.

Noah Kagan: Anyways, this guy is 27 years old, from Northern Ireland. I still don't know where Ireland is versus Scotland. I'm very confused with those two places. He's not from Silicon Valley. He's from a small town where $30,000 a year is a lot. I can't share how much he makes, but it blew my mind.

And it was very clear the ability for finding something that people are excited to pay you for sticking with it, right? Most people don't, I think I was talking about this, but most people get it backwards. They quit too soon and then they don't stick with winners. And you need to do the, you know, they're like, just find the winner really quickly and then stick with it.

That's the, that's the formula. And so he found through, he was very good at consulting on YouTube and now he's built a very large business for a 27 year old without, I don't even know if he went to college. Yeah. I don't think he's got a big social media following to begin with at all, just from some random place in Ireland.

And everyone can do that, whether you have a social media following, whether you went to college, no matter what. And there's so many, especially if you see my YouTube channel, there's so many ways of getting rich, so many crazy ways of getting rich. But you do have to start, you do have to ask people for things, and then you do have to stick with it for some period of time.

Chris Do: Okay. Is there something more concrete? Is there a playbook? Can you give us some examples of things that we can do?

Noah Kagan: Yeah. Yeah. Let me walk you through more stories that I'll, that I'll tell the playbook and you know, obviously Million Dollar Weekend I shared the exact step by steps and at the website I have a lot of videos and things of that nature, but I've met people recently one of them her name is Mackenzie and Mackenzie's, you know, similar to most probably listeners has a day job She was working at Warby Parker making six figures, but dreamed of being an entrepreneur.

And, you know, a lot of us don't have ideas, or don't think we're ready, or don't think we're qualified, or don't realize that, yes, we can do it, you can do it. And she wanted to make connections for people. And so, she sent an email to friends and family, and said, "hey, I want to do a greeting card business. Anyone want to buy greeting cards for me?" People did. It was validated. Again, what's important is make sure you find something people actually want. You're not convincing them. You're not making them buy. Then all you do is stick with it. That's why I love the Law of 100. Do 100 days. Do 100 sales. Do 100 posts.

Do 100 videos. And in her first year, she sold $50,000 worth of greeting cards. It's marymakery. com. I got to give her a shout out because I'm so proud of her and anyone else can do that too. Now, in terms of the playbook of let's maybe break down some of these elements, there's really starting, building and growing and within 48 hours, which the reason I have a weekend is because I have through tens of thousands of people realize when you have a very limited time, you'll focus on what matters and what matters is actually solving a problem people want.

And if they don't want it, great, you get learning. And you could try again the next weekend. I can tell you, Chris, 20, even now it's probably almost 30 different businesses I've tried that did not work. Right? You only need one hit in life to succeed in business, which is so cool. Just one. And you, that's it.

And so the things that are important is starting and asking. So starting really, how do you just start right now? The number one takeaway from the book so far that from surveys and research is now, not how. This is the biggest breakthrough for everyone, which is what can you do right now on the phone while you're in your podcast listening or while you're watching YouTube?

Can you post on social media saying, "Hey, does anyone, does anyone want to buy my art?" What else can you do right now? Can you call someone and say, "Hey, do you want to buy like a air purifier?" I might want to start an air purifier website. You can do that right now. And the more you realize you don't need domains, you don't need more courses, you don't necessarily need more books, you don't need to spend any more money.

And you can find these things out, even if you have a very small network. You can have very big wealth of very small networks. And so you got to start right now. And the second part is asking. So she did a great job. And asking is this big, scary thing. "Oh my God, I've got to bug someone." No. She said," Hey, friends, I'm trying this idea. Can I get your feedback? What do you think about it?" And I always talk about the coffee challenge, where, this is something I came up with, where practice asking and getting rejected and realizing it's not so scary. The point, you go and ask for 10% off when you get coffee, Starbucks ideally, so they reject you.

They say no, and you realize, hey. I got rejected. I'm still alive. I'm a strong person. Look at my muscles. Go you. Let me go see what else I can ask for. And asking and selling have very negative connotations, but if you find something people want and you've been practicing it on something silly, it actually makes the whole experience very fun, frankly, and easy.

So she got good at asking. She just asked her friends for feedback. I got this idea. Now the next two parts that are key, I would say, is making sure you're in a million dollar market. Right? You can work very hard on something that no matter what you do, you won't make enough money. And so, fun example of that is, I had a masseuse come to the house for my, my girlfriend.

It was $140. And I was like, do you know how many massages she has to do to make a million bucks? That's a lot of backs, right? But if she did a coaching and then she worked on hiring other masseuses, she could actually probably do that in half the time. Or if she then ultimately found that that was working and created a software platform, she could even do it in less than time.

But she had to start, you can start, and again, my point with that though is thinking about the size of that market. Like there's only so much money you're going to make with your own hands doing backs. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's great if you started a business there. But if you want to make more money.

Just thinking about how big is that opportunity? Because you don't, I've run really fast up in the wrong direction. Really fast. I have a website, Don't go there. And I worked a lot on it. And the most it ever made was 50 bucks. It's a voice over IP affiliate site. A lot of times in business, think about it as reps.

It's like, it's like practice. You're practicing and practicing and practicing. And if it doesn't hit, that's okay. But you're still getting the reps in and you're learning something. And now. Again, you know, you have to make sure the ideas are in markets that at least are million dollar. And I've interviewed a lot of billionaires and I've worked for them.

The, there's a lot of differences, but one of the key ones is they're working in billion dollar opportunities. Now, in terms of ideas, a lot of, there's, this is in the book and it's totally broken down, but how do I come up with an idea, Chris? I got no ideas. Or then you have this other problem, which is, people are surprised about, I got too many ideas.

All these are avoidance techniques, which I'm an expert in avoidance. That's where I went to India. I know avoidance. My therapist, I quit my therapist who said I avoided. And um, you know, in terms of ideas. I'll give you three, three ways to do it in three minutes. Very quickly. Anyone can do it. Just think about your day and break it down to morning, afternoon, night, and just think about things that were annoying or problematic. Like even today, like Chris, thinking about your day, like anything that took a long time, anything that bothered you, anything with your girl, anything that happened to you that was like, Oh, that was a little bit annoying. What do you think was the first thing that comes to mind?

Chris Do: Shoot. Let's say breakfast. My, my day started a little early today and I wasn't able to eat my, my protein shake this morning.

Noah Kagan: How come you didn't wake up on time? Or how come you didn't wake up early enough?

Chris Do: Social media.

Noah Kagan: Last night or this morning?

Chris Do: This morning. I got up at 7. I should have jumped straight into the shower, gotten ready, and then had my protein shake. But that was one problem I had this morning. But I also knew, it's like, I have a, like, warming up my brain, like now I'm gonna get up. You know, and so the social media stuff makes me wake up. I'm like, okay, put this down. Let's go.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And then you had breakfast. What did you eat for breakfast?

Chris Do: I didn't eat breakfast today.

Noah Kagan: Okay. You wanted to eat a protein bar. What kind of protein bar? What kind of breakfast do you like?

Chris Do: Yeah. Usually a protein shake or protein bar to get my protein, you know, because that muscle that we've been talking about.

Noah Kagan: Bro, you got them gains. This gain season coming. Okay. And then you got a girlfriend or wife. You get her flowers. How's the relationship in the morning? Do you see her? Do you give her a kiss?

Chris Do: Didn't see her.

Noah Kagan: How'd it go?

Chris Do: I haven't spoken to her.

Noah Kagan: Is that normal?

Chris Do: Depends on what day, yeah. Because of our schedules, yeah. Like, she'll do yoga, she'll drop my kid off at school, and then we usually get together for lunch.

Noah Kagan: Okay. So even in, okay, so let's just even, like, I know people are like, what the hell, what's going on here? Right, those are three, there's three businesses in what you just brought up. So every problem, inconvenience, annoyance is an opportunity. So first thing was you wake up and check your phone. Chris, would it be cool if every morning I had a report for you of the coolest shit on social media that I printed out for you or I emailed you that's customized for you?

Again, to be clear, I'm just telling the opportunities I heard. Now you check to make sure there's a million dollars there. And then you follow through with validation and see if people actually want it. And I'm not going to build shit. I'm not going to spend a lot of time. I only got 48 hours. So one, social media is not bad, but maybe you want it curated.

Maybe you want a customized newsletter that I make just for Chris Do. Maybe just for you. Second thing, we talked about your breakfast. Sounds like maybe there's an opportunity to make your breakfast even easier. Like, hey Chris, like, what kind of protein bars do you eat? What kind of breakfast do you eat? How do you think about your breakfast? Is it a lot of energy thinking about your breakfast? How much do you spend on breakfast? Business is really listening to problems and then solving the ones people want to pay you money for. I know, it's so complicated. And people are like, no, tell me the complicated stuff.

I'm like, the complicated stuff is because people are selling you. And if you have a very limited time and you're not spending money, you can actually solve the thing that matters. Now, the third one is your, it sounds like your girlfriend. She's dropping your kid off at work. You're not seeing her in the mornings.

Sounds like there's an opportunity. To how do we improve your relationship? It sounds like you guys have a ten out of ten relationship, but maybe I can do flower delivery for you. Maybe I can have notes that you can write for your girlfriend and I send you monthly notes that you can write, "Hey, have a great morning. I'll see you at lunch". Maybe there's a lunch delivery service. That's literally from like, what, a two minute chat? And these, look, you can say, "Hey, none of these matter." But what I'd recommend is you can pre sell anyone. to see if they'd actually pay you. Like, so in these three ideas, is there anything right now, today, you'd feel comfortable giving me a deposit for? I need to make it refundable. No worries.

Chris Do: There's the ask right there.

Noah Kagan: Oh, there it is. So we're asking, and we practiced it on a stupid ass coffee. So if I have to ask a friend that has a problem that I can help, do they mind supporting me on this endeavor? And a lot of times in business we want to make it harder on ourselves because then we don't We don't face the rejection.

We don't face the reality that people may say yes, they may say no, and more often they're actually going to say no, they're going to say yes, then we realize our friends want us to succeed. Our network and friends want us to succeed. Now there is other parts of the playbook, which is like how do you scale it and all this other stuff. That's stuff's easy, but finding the thing that people really want and getting three customers in 48 hours is the golden ticket to creating your own life and as much money as you want to make.

Chris Do: That was like a mini brainstorm workshop right there everybody.

Noah Kagan: And and again Chris people are gonna laugh He was like that was too easy.

Like no way. It's like that was just one way of doing it I just asked Chris about his morning. We didn't even get to afternoon, right, right? You can also look at your credit card bill. I love that one I was in sponsored by Tim Ferriss inspired by him. You can also look at hey, what have I avoided doing? What am I not doing around my house? What am I not doing in life? Guess what? That's a business for others and for yourself.

Chris Do: That's a good one. What is the credit card when you look at a credit card and what do you do with a credit card?

Noah Kagan: Oh my God. Those are great business opportunities. So we use at AppSumo DocuSign and I hate DocuSign. We don't need it very often. It's subscription for something you don't use very frequently and all this stuff. Sought on a bill and then I was like, Oh, I love being my first customer. It doesn't mean it's guaranteed to work, right? You still have to go validate with pre selling. And if you start thinking about it, people will get their mind blown when they realize everything is pre sold to them.

They're like, "no, I want to see it before I buy it." Okay. Did you see your flight? Did you see that airplane before you buy your plane ticket? "No, but of course the plane's there", how do you know the plane's there?" Because, oh, I guess I don't know." Concert ticket. "I bought a concert ticket to Drake." Did you buy it the day of? Or did you buy it a month before? "No, I bought it a few months before." How'd you know Drake was going to show? "I don't know".

And if it doesn't sell, pre sell, guess what? Great! You can tell them, "hey, sounds like you don't want it. Great, let me find something you do want." Your point about the credit card bill, I saw that DocuSign was complicated and I went and looked up anyone in the past five years that emailed me a DocuSign and I contacted them.

I put them on a, I call it the Dream 10, make it easy, but I did Dream 30, it was 30 people who messaged me a DocuSign and I just contacted them, text, WhatsApp, DMs, phone calls, active, and I pre sold. And so in 24 hours, I got a lot of nos, but because we've been practicing, it wasn't so scary. And I also got some yeses.

And I, I've seen this also in agency businesses. I got an email, so I made $3,000 twenty four hours, just two weeks ago, and I didn't use any social media, no email list, no nothing. I saw someone a month ago who sent an email saying, "Hey, my friend is a photographer and she'd love to take photos of people. If you're interested, just reply to this email."

Most of these big billion dollar businesses started as an email or a side hobby or something that's silly and not something so serious. And I think that's mistaken and overlooked a lot of the time.

Chris Do: Just let me get this clear. You look at your credit card, you look for things you pay for that you're, that annoy you. And then you're like, let me try that as a business idea. Is that the, is that the credit card concept?

Noah Kagan: The credit card concept is what? Am I paying too much for that, that bothers the shit out of me. Like, I hate Stripe. I pay too much for Stripe.

Chris Do: Yeah.

Noah Kagan: I hate DocuSign. Pay too much for DocuSign. My pool cleaners, I hate my pool cleaners. Painless. It's like $200 a week and, and I have pool problems. I don't even check my pool problems. By the way, business idea, bikini, pool cleaners and bikinis, that was my girlfriend's business idea. Not mine. But that's just like, I mean, I can't even try to, let me pull up my credit card bill for like right now, but again, you can, these are just thinking about things that anything that's a bothersome or is an avoidance are all businesses or things that you desire that don't exist. All businesses.

Chris Do: Is your girlfriend going to launch this bikini pool business?

Noah Kagan: It's, uh, she's in beta testing with just one customer right now. That's me. We want to really test this one out for years before it's fully ready to launch.

Chris Do: Is she the pool cleaner by the way?

Noah Kagan: She weirdly loves pool, also, again, y'all, notice anything you've done that people responded to. And so, a little while ago when it was sunnier in Austin, she was cleaning the pool and she's like, "I love cleaning pools." I was like, I've never ever heard anyone say that. I love my girlfriend. She's phenomenal. And she, she was in a bikini and Wow, I would pay for this every week. I would, I'd have the cleanest pool in all the world.

And I was like, oh, that's kind of funny, right? It's kind of silly. It's silly. Think about hooters. I mean, I, I still feel, I don't go there even though I've heard their wings are good. It's very awkward. I think that's like a hundred million dollar business. It's just a restaurant with someone in bikinis. And again, I'm not encouraging bikini stuff. Uh, but it was just interesting that, Oh, wow, that's a little bit different than the normal pool cleaning. And on my credit card bill I saw, I hate pay. It's like 200 bucks a, it's like 180 for every week or every other week. It's just, it seems like a lot.

Chris Do: I pay for pool cleaning. I'm, I'm glad a guy comes out here to clean the pool. It's hard work, man.

Noah Kagan: It is.

Chris Do: Oh my goodness. Especially when it's hot.

Noah Kagan: Again, what we're trying to come back on though, Chris, is the opportunities.

Chris Do: Yeah.

Noah Kagan: Right? So you look at things you've avoided. You look at your credit card bill to see if there's anything that's expensive. You think about your own day. And for AppSumo, I mean, I was the first customer. I wanted software deals on tools for solopreneurs. And I was like, how can I find out very quickly if this is what other people want too?

Chris Do: Okay, so while you're pulling up your credit card bill, I want to tell you where our audience gets stuck. What you say makes too much sense to me. It just makes too much sense. And so creative people, they want to live a harder life than they need to. So yeah, yeah, so I did look at my day, but I really want to do this weird thing that nobody really wants. That's what I want to do, and I'm, I believe I have a vision of the future.

This is the whole convergent versus divergent thinking. Like, oh, everybody's so logical. I don't want to be that logical. No, I want to do something so weird that people haven't thought of, but I know they all need this thing. I can't tell you how many people in my life are like this, whether they're self described creatives or not.

They're like, here's this thing that nobody's ever thought about, but I'm going to do this thing because I'm not even sure anybody wants it. They don't think it like that, but that's how it comes out. How do you help those people?

Noah Kagan: So walk, tell me a person.

Chris Do: Yeah.

Noah Kagan: Like who's the person, don't say their name maybe if you don't want to, but like tell me who the person is you're thinking of and like walk me through what they're currently doing. Maybe at a high level and quickly so.

Chris Do: It's going to be hard for me to say it without them knowing exactly because they're doing such strange things that as soon as I say it, they're like, oh, he's talking about me right now. But let me try to extract it and see if I can help you understand the mind of the creative person.

Noah Kagan: Please.

Chris Do: So instead of doing say branding or identity design work, they, they create some weird sub niche that is hard to understand and no one's looking for. So they think that's my ticket. And it's not validated by any market because they can't sell it. They, they have even a hard time explaining what it is that they do. How can you help them? This is a mindset problem, I believe.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, it's a mindset. You can't help someone who doesn't wanna help themself. I can't convince someone that it's different. That's not my job. My job is to help the people who want to help themselves. And so what I recommend for everyone is If what you're doing is working, don't listen to me.

Right? If you want to scale, and you're at a place where you've tried something and it's not worked, or you want to try something and you need a playbook to do it, listen to me. And so what I've noticed is that people get very pot committed, using poker terminology, meaning they have a thing, no one's buying it, but they're stuck on it.

And the problem, Chris, is that we've glorified failure. "I tried this thing for 10 years and it didn't work, but I know that this other person tried for 10 years". It's like, Why don't you try the thing that works and then stick with that for 10 years? But we've glorified, you know, Edison, glorified James Dyson, even maybe a little Elon. You know, Elon took six years to deliver this truck, 10 years to deliver the Model 3. Okay, it's going to take a long time for it to work. Both those examples, take them as an example, both of them had a billion dollars of pre orders. Pretty clear that if he finished whatever weird ass icon he was doing, that there's demand for it.

Now, what I encourage people to do is experiment. So if what you're doing and you're really excited, then Chris, by the way, everyone's already committed to their own plan. So I know as I've gotten older, I just say, I'm glad that you're trying stick with your plan. And if it's not working, that's good. At least you're doing something.

You're at least getting momentum, momentum going. But why don't we experiment? And try emailing someone right now that's been a previous customer or you think could be a customer and asking them if they would pay for it. No, that's a little uncomfortable. Maybe even do it for free, let's even do there. I don't always recommend that because just because it's free doesn't mean people will pay in the future.

But hey, I want to do this idea where I take photos for families. Would you pay for that? Or can I do it for free? And then I think you'll be a little surprised. And so don't make it an all or nothing play, I don't think that works. Don't quit what you're doing because most people are very fixated on their own plans.

But at least experiment and see what happens and I think most people when they start taking action right now And when they actually try to do something people want they're surprised about the results And I will tell you when you find something that people are excited to have help on from you Like, you know, I have a designer shout out at Baldo or you know I have a book marketer like these people like it's so nice when like a Baldo. This is a crazy story This guy makes a lot of money down in Brazil He saw that I tweeted about, uh, my website and he just sent me a mock up. He's like, "Hey, I know you kind of complained about your website." And I just said that he sent me a mock up just because he wanted to. And I wanted, he wanted to practice.

And that has led him now to build all these original products. The AppStream Originals is all led by him. Just try maybe something a little different. And I, and I think if you don't, if you experiment and it fails, great. What can you learn? And if it works, great. You're going to learn something too. And it's, and it's working. Which, you know, it sounds like for a lot of these people, you're saying it's not working.

Chris Do: You gave a really practical answer. I just want to reiterate that for everyone who was like, wait, wait, what was the answer here? So you're not discouraging people from their harebrained ideas. You're like, okay, you're committed to it anyways, you're pot committed.

So you're like, you know, you might try some things and the best thing that you can do if you're not 100% sure is to validate it through the market via pre sale. Just find out if, if somebody is willing to take it for free. And sometimes, believe it or not, the things that people offer me for free, I don't even take.

That's how bad the offer is. So if they can't take it for free, you, you, you have a pretty clear indicator that this may not be something you want to go on for about seven years unless you have a billion dollars in the bank or a billion dollars worth of pre orders. Would they pay for it? And if you can get enough market validation, and I love this whole idea, you got 48 hours, get three customers. Test your ideas, see if it works, and then decide then if you want to invest more time and energy. Did I get that right?

Noah Kagan: Yeah. I mean, it's cool to be a, you know, well fed artist these days, and it's available to everyone, right? And I think there's a balance, and there's definitely this balance of life. Like, what do you want to do in this planet versus what this planet wants to reward people for?

And you could do it your way, and that's fine, and maybe it works, but you also have to be mindful of the people who want to spend money on these things. And it's exciting. I will say, it's very exciting getting validated on the idea you have. Like when I got my first hundred dollars on this DocuSign alternative two weeks ago when I was showing people that it works.

Even though, yes, I have all this money and blah blah blah, I was like super excited. I was like, hell yeah. Like failure, rejection, which still happens. Wow, someone believes in me like I'm going to believe in myself. Maybe I can do these things. And I'll tell you with art, there's this woman, Carrie Caulfield.

She, I think she was like corporate training as her day job. And she just loves being an artist. So she did the same thing. And I've seen her paintings. I told her I'll be our fifth customer. And she just asked her friends. And then she just posted her painting in her hair salon. And look, it's not going to make a million dollars immediately.

But it's like this practice of starting and starting and doing and sticking with it that over some time What's the difference between Carrie Caulfield and Andy Warhol? Not much. Andy just found an area of art that worked for him And then he did it in a very extended period of time. And I think that's the reality for everyone out there with art specifically and designers and people like that.

Chris Do: There may be a few more differences, but I don't want to get into an art debate with you.

Noah Kagan: There's nuances.

Chris Do: Yeah.

Noah Kagan: There's definitely nuances.

Chris Do: Because you touched on two of my favorite artists, but we'll, we'll get into that later. So whatever happened to McKenzie? She, you said that she did $50,000 for her first year. Uh, do we have a status update with her? Like this greeting card business?

Noah Kagan: That was last year.

Chris Do: Oh, it was last year, okay.

Noah Kagan: That was last year. Yeah. But what's crazy, and this is a common trap, is what we talked about earlier. It's this plateau. And she's like, she just got to 50,000, which is unbelievable, right? And now she said, "hey, I want to do a new business".

Chris Do: Uh oh.

Noah Kagan: Exactly what you were telling me, what you were asking me about earlier, and she said, hey, no, "I want to do this new business where I design people's presentations." I said, "oh, that's interesting." And again, I'm not here to judge. I'm just here to ask questions. Okay, how come you want to do that? It seems easier. Okay, so this one's easier, but you have nothing on it. This one you've already done 50,000, you have momentum on it. What makes you think it'll be easier? Okay. How do we experiment doing the thing that's working? And this other thing that you want to do, like keep that on the side.

And not put so much pressure to move ship. You have something working. Either do it yourself or find someone else to do it. And again, she was very excited to do her Google Slides presentation design consulting firm. Ah, it's so much easier. And a lot of times the best experiences are learned. Not through a book. You're not gonna learn, you can only learn to cook so well reading. You have to be in the kitchen. That's the third metaphor. I promised you, I promised you I'd get to three. I got more.

Chris Do: You got me there. And your publicist is saying, uh, did you tell people not to buy a book when you're about to launch your book?

Noah Kagan: You know what? My job is not to sell the book, necessarily. My job is to be proud of what I created, make sure it's something people want, which I validated this book on, and then Ultimately, like, I've done it time and time again, so I feel like it works. And then people like Mackenzie have gotten it to work.

Doesn't mean there's not going to be problems along the way. And then there's a guy named Pat who got it to work. And Jake who's gotten it to work. And Rico's gotten it to work. And LG's gotten it to work. And I know it works. That's why I feel confident. Because I see it. And with Mackenzie, if she wants to go do this other thing, I'm going to be there to support her. And ideally, I'm like, do this consulting thing fast, so you can come back to the thing that's working. And as I've gotten older, coming back to the Ayman principle, the best business is the one that works. I'm going to call it the Ayman Principle from now on. So you just keep doing it over and over and over and over. And the more boring your success is, that means it's working. So don't get bored of the success. Embrace it or find some way to enjoy it or find someone else who will.

Chris Do: I suspect Mackenzie's a creative person and doing the same thing month after month, year after year is, The kind of her definition of hell. This is why creative people have all kinds of problems. Things are working. I don't wanna do it anymore. I wanna do something different. So you wanna run away from money and success, is that what you're saying? And that's the plight that most creative people suffer from.

Noah Kagan: That's a human problem. .

Chris Do: Is it?

Noah Kagan: Yeah. That's why we don't, I dunno if I already said this, but that's why we don't watch the same ne Netflix movie over and over. Like, how many times do you watch the same Netflix show?

Chris Do: Not often, but there are some movies I watch, like, a lot on repeat.

Noah Kagan: What's an example?

Chris Do: Like, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Dune.

Noah Kagan: But yeah, in general, we're looking for another movie. But the majority of your consumption of content is probably new stuff. You're not watching the same YouTube video that really helped you.

Chris Do: Right.

Noah Kagan: Over and over and over again. But that's also really interesting about, alright, well, how do we apply that in our own business? How can you maybe twist it up a bit? How can maybe, hey, what parts of the business do you actually want to spend all day doing? Because the reality, Chris, is for everyone out there, if you reflect on your life, there's something that you have stuck with. What was it about that that worked? Teeth brushing. Easy example. And you're like, well, I like my teeth smelling good.

And you've got to do it twice a day, by the way. You're not doing it twice. It's gross. Why do you do it twice a day? I don't know. Because I did it in the mornings and I like smelling my teeth. And okay, well, what about that can we copy for your business? Well, my business, I really like for Mary Makery, her website, I just like making the cards.

I don't want to fulfillment. Awesome. Oh, I really want to be on more shows or I want to go to- great. That's just coming back to the original question. Okay, let's just spend that all freaking week doing that. And you could find someone to do fulfillment. You could find someone to do your website design.

And the thing that was crazy looking at her website, I was coming back on it, is that I can tell she's not focused on it. Because there's so much cool opportunities that I can tell she's not thinking about it every day. She's thinking about all these other things. And that's something that she'll have to experience and learn for herself, which is hopefully quick. And then I do think she'll come back and be like, wow, look, Hallmark and American Greeting Cards are like worth nine figures or ten figure businesses. Greeting Cards can be a giant business. And by the way, it could be enough for her to make grocery money. It could be enough to her to be a thousandaire or for her to live whatever life she wants. Uh, and I just find if you find something people are excited about, figure a way that you can make it sustainable. Like I, I aim for ten years. And when you think in that time span, one, if it fails right away, you're also kind of okay. You're like, it didn't work. That's okay. I'm doing it for 10 years. Like right now with my YouTube channels, like a lot of people quit and we're testing people out and it's all that stuff.

But I'm think, you know what, I'm gonna do this 10 years. It's okay if one month's not perfect. And for herself, I think when she dials into that business, it's like, wow, there's a lot more things I could fix on this website.

Chris Do: I think it's lost its new car smell appeal and now they want to get a new car. But I'm going to mix metaphors with you. If you're in a home and you get bored, you get bored of the home, you, you don't just tear the home down and move. You, you give a new coat of paint, you rearrange the furniture, you put some plants, you change the decor, you upgrade your furniture. And that's how you make, you add value to your home. You do, uh, the, the landscaping stuff and you, you might add an extension or something or an AD. It's ADU.

Noah Kagan: ADU.

Chris Do: You know, you might do that, right? That's more of the metaphor. Like, you have a business idea, it's working, don't abandon it.

Noah Kagan: Just like a relationship. If you have a good woman or a good man, like, you're not trying to break it up. You're like, how do I get more of this? How do I go deeper with this? All right, I need to leave the house, like go on vacation for a week and you come back and you're like, damn. Like, I, I don't know. I love my house. I'm here every day thinking like, I can't believe I get to live here. And that's how it can be for, for your work as well. Like why spend, like, I don't know, at least half your life doing something you don't like? That seems crazy to me.

Chris Do: Yeah, I'm glad you brought the dating thing back because you said something at the beginning of the podcast. I'm like, what? If you want more variety, date one person. And you never explained what that means because I'm like, what?

Noah Kagan: Oh my god, I love that. I think it's from one of these famous women and psychologists. You know, here's what's interesting by the way. There's like Benet Brown and Esther Perel. They're the most famous, but are they actually even the best psychologists? No, they're the best business marketers of psychology. Same thing for all creatives. It's another example of it. They're very good. But just to show another example, right, just because you're, you're good doesn't, and again, it depends on what you're trying to optimize for.

I think that's a great question. Now, in terms of variety. If you ever go on dates, like I was single two years ago and I was dating a lot. And I think what's important to think about is what is, what is my goal? What do I really want? And how does my behavior align to that goal? So I wanted to be in a relationship. I wanted to be married and have kids and all this stuff. But I was just hooking up and like doing dumb dating stuff. So it was like, I wanted this but I'm not, I'm behaving this, so it's not actually aligning. And my friend Dan Andrews from Tropical MBA said that quote to me and kind of made me realize when you go on all these dates, you say the same freaking story over and over. Yeah, my dad's from here. Yeah, you know, I'm from San Jose, California. You know, like all this crappy, boring stuff and there's no depth to it. But then when you're with one person and you go through hardship, when you're with one person and you have a flight delay, when you're with one person and you can finally experience a lot of, you can share things that you never felt comfortable sharing because you don't know, you didn't really know the person.

It's the ultimate. I would say having a great partner besides the variety because you're really getting to be with some, I mean, it's like one, it's the ultimate life upgrade. If you can be optimistic and then work towards finding someone that really compliments you and accepts you for who you are as well as ideally you accept yourself. And I would say, uh, that has been one of the game changers for me in the past two years.

Chris Do: So you find variety in sticking with one person but going through different adventures with that person versus having a shallow adventure with like 10 or 15 different people.

Noah Kagan: Exactly. I think when we can, you know, when everyone is in their lives and then maybe they get a little restless, just pausing, just pause for one second and be like, hey, I'm feeling restless. Okay, what, how come I'm feeling restless here? And a lot of times it's maybe because things are pretty going pretty damn well. And we can just take a step back and be like, Not bad. Not bad, Chris. Not bad, Stephanie. Not bad, Mark. I'm just making up names. Not bad. No, it's going pretty well. And just pausing a little bit versus having to react and then feel like we're going to sabotage it or it can't last.

My, one of my best friend Tynan, and again, here's another life upgrade. Just be around optimistic people. That'll make you more optimistic. He's always like, life is so great and it's going to get better. And that just always hits. That always hits.

Chris Do: That's very optimistic.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And I'm like, shut up, dude. And so it's nice to be around people that are like, no, dude, it's really good, actually. Like even Tynan, when I was, I was pretty low, I would say a year ago today, literally a year ago today, I was pretty low. And I remember him sitting in my kitchen with me, flew out to, to comfort me. It's nice to have friends like that. And he's like, dude, just zoom out of your life. Zoom out, like go to the skies.

Everything is pretty dope. Like yeah, this moment might feel a little sucky, but like zoom out to the clouds. You got pinball machines at home, which I do. I've got Zillow, which is the number one rated pinball machine in the world. I love it.

Chris Do: Wow.

Noah Kagan: I've got like a hot tub. I have a garage. Right. Like I have friends that are really, really amazing guys and a few girls, but really a lot of guys like you, you're healthy. You can walk. You're moderately above average. Good looking. Okay. Yeah. Some things aren't great, but overall pretty damn great. And having that perspective and also that support was extremely helpful and we all, it's hard to do it all this stuff alone. So it's nice to have people in your corner, but that was definitely a beautiful moment with him.

You can shout him out.

Chris Do: There we go. I have to ask you two questions before we go. One is because of the book. When does the book drop and what is the premise of the book? I think I can infer what the premise of the book is, but I'd rather have you just say it.

Noah Kagan: Uh, what do you think it is? The book is called Million Dollar Weekend.

It's available everywhere worldwide where books are sold, aka Or buy it in your local bookstore. I think that's super cool. And I can't wait for people to send me photos. Please take action. Send photos @NoahKagan anywhere. I would love, uh, what do you think it's about, Chris?

Chris Do: I think it's about the principles that you've learned helping to launch and doing campaigns that have made you a million dollars on a weekend and the same principles, principles can be applied to wherever you're at, whether you have $12 or $100,000.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. I would say, have you ever read Marie Kondo? So that's exactly right. It will help anyone make a million dollars, I promise that. If they follow the formula, they will get it. Have you ever read Marie Kondo's book, "The Magic of Tidying Up"?

Chris Do: No, but I'm very familiar with Marie Kondo.

Noah Kagan: Oh, it's a fire book. It's such a banger. I love it. Now, I think this book is similar to that, and that's what I, I try to make it mindset as well as tactics, and I think most books in business theory, they're one or the other and they don't do a good job combining it. But really what the book does is how does it help someone realize who they can become? And in that same time, realize what kind of life they can live. And it's generally way cooler than they can imagine. And it's actually available to them. And that's what the book is about. Because I know it worked for me and I'm seeing it work for others. Not just the money. Like the money is, you're still who you are, but it's finding out who else you can become and how, like wow. It's definitely special for the people that want to at least lean in a little bit to some of the things that maybe they've been afraid of or things they've actually really wanted deep down.

Chris Do: Anything else you want to share?

Noah Kagan: I pulled out my credit card bill.

Chris Do: Oh, you did? Okay. Tell us about that. And then I have to ask this one question before we run out of time here.

Noah Kagan: Dun dun dun. The final question. The final countdown. Um, all right. My Peloton membership, 47 bucks. I bought caviar. Because I was like, I guess that's what rich people do. But no, my girlfriend's pregnant, so she wants salmon roe. So that was $125. Um, I took my buddy for his birthday clay shooting. That was 25 bucks for the ammo. Pregnant clothing. You know, I bought, I tried to get my girl, you know, some super nice, like thoughtful mom clothes. So like, let me just even go through that credit card bill. So mom clothes are a pain in the butt to get, and then the women grow out of them. So how come there's not returnable or rentable mom clothes? Business idea. Every business has been done, don't worry about it. Think about it as a practice and experiment and you're just getting a rep in. Because what will happen is, you have your idea for your business, you Google it. Oh, this one person finally took the idea that I was, was gonna make me rich. It's like you didn't even know that idea 10 seconds ago.

Don't worry about them. Just think about it as an experiment and practice doing this, the process. So you can keep doing it until you find a thing that works. And most times, if you haven't heard of it, that's an opportunity. So again, I'm sharing that because a lot of people say, Oh, well, I've already heard of something like that.

I know. But if you haven't, and you don't know about it yet, that means it's your opportunity. The clay shooting, what I was actually thinking with the clay shooting was like more guy experiences, like how do you have guy trips? So like this clay shooting in Austin, it was like super cheap. And it was a really nice thing to do for birthdays.

So like, how do you have birthday packages? Like, hey, $100, I'm gonna take care of everything. Because like, you have to find a place, you have to have maybe food, then you have to have an activity. And it was. It's not bad, but that's an interesting idea, like birthday parties for guys, Peloton membership, even kind of a silly one. I'm like, huh, I don't use that all the time. Could we maybe have something, is there something else there where people can come work out at my house and use my, I have a gym at home. You can use my home gym. I don't know if I want strangers in my gym, but maybe there's that, like Airbnb for home gyms. Or is there a way to do other types of monthly fitness memberships?

And again, all this is to find out like. You can, when you start looking for problems, aka businesses, they're everywhere. And then when you start actually taking in the now, the one you want to do, just do the first one on your list, don't worry. And do it as a practice round. And this is just me, you know, quickly looking at one of my credit cards.

Chris Do: You spitballing those business solutions I think will spark a lot of what people are like, okay, he connected the dots for me. Just out of curiosity, the five things you just randomly came up with, which one do you think is most viable?

Noah Kagan: A lot of times I like to think, what would I be excited to work on? And then who do I have in my network? Kind of coming back to the elements we talked about. I think the mom one is cool, but I don't know, I think I'd have to hit up friends and be like, Who's a mom? Do you know any moms? I like the guys birthday ones. I think that's kind of cool. I think that would actually be hard to convince people to pay for birthday plans. Or pay for birthday events. So, in terms of viability, maybe the, I don't know, the Airbnb home memberships, uh, in terms of viability. Again, I think they're all viable. I think you have to go and talk to customers to find the truth. I really think all of them are actually really interesting. What I, what I, what I want to do is either the guy's birthday or maybe the home gym stuff that would more likely validate that.

Chris Do: Got it. Things that appeal to you, things that you think, hey, I could use this?

Noah Kagan: Why not be excited then when you're asking someone to be a customer, you're not asking them, you're, you're, it's not, I never thought I was going to ask, I think of it as a duty, and I'm excited, I'm like, hey, I think this is really going to help you with what's going on in your life.

Chris Do: Okay, we're almost out of time. I have to ask you this question here. I'm on your YouTube channel. It's like what multi millionaire entrepreneurs running an 80 million dollar company, the one that I know about, is still on YouTube making videos. This is kind of fascinating. You have over a million subscribers on YouTube.

And then I watch a series of videos where it's like asking millionaires how to make a million dollars. This is a good idea for people who are poor. Like there's a guy in the street that's just curious, but you're actually, you're a millionaire yourself.

Noah Kagan: I'm rich. I know.

Chris Do: Yeah, exactly. So what's the hook?

Noah Kagan: And I don't see rich like as a rude thing. It's just like, I, I'm literally a multimillionaire, which, you know, my safety lately has become more of a concern for our family. Um, I think what's interesting about a lot of these YouTubers is there's, this is, this is a business opportunity and it still blows my mind. On YouTube, you can make up any title you want. And I, I think there's so many fraudsters out there and hucksters and charlatans, it's unbelievable. Like, oh, I'm worth a hundred million dollars. From what? Oh, you'll run it. You have a cool business. Where? It drives me crazy. Literally. Yeah. In terms of YouTube for myself, I've been doing content online since 2000, before you were born, Chris.

I like it. I like it. I love it. I love getting attention. I love my ego getting juiced. I love helping people. I love replying to comments. I like being creative. It's fun. It helps AppSumo with my branding out there. People are like, who's this Noah Kagan guy? I kind of see him. I like him. And then I talk about AppSumo.

And then they go over to the website and check out AppSumo. Now, in terms of some of the content we've done, it was You know, Law of 100, which is like, we tried a lot of content stuck with 100 pieces and finally towards the end of that, uh, one of the videos did really well, which is this knocking on doors, asking millionaires how they got 80 million dollars. Advice for you and me. I think the thing for content in general out there is for us to think about what is our unique thing that others can't copy? Because now there's a lot of kids being like, hey, knock on doors and they're, most of these are fake. They're very fake. There's, I think a few I've seen are actually legit.

Because when you knock on someone's door, they don't want to answer.

Chris Do: You're saying yours are legit?

Noah Kagan: Yeah, you see me get rejected a lot. That's part of the fun of the video. Except in Newport Beach. Those people were extremely friendly when I knocked on their doors. I like doing it. I think what I've noticed with YouTube specifically, you have to get started today with whatever platform. Only do one platform. If you want to win on social, win one. Everyone's trying to win many. Just do one. Well, I want to do both. Fine, don't win. It's okay, I don't care. It doesn't change my life. I just found that if I only did YouTube, it worked really well. And after YouTube and our system of doing these videos was working consistently, then we now start doing, you know, maybe some Twitter and some of these other stuff.

And then think about as you're doing it, what's the unique thing for you? Like no one else can be Chris Do.

Chris Do: Thankfully.

Noah Kagan: And there's a lot of videos now where it's like, let's do a podcast video, which is fine. But how do you make yours unique? And, but you have to get started and get it going and then eval, eval, you know, evolve to that place. But I think people will spend so much time trying to prepare to be ready for that. But it's really getting it going, seeing if there's any validation on it. Like I put out my first video with my phone. I'm not selling these people like expensive courses or I don't know, super expensive books. It's like, yeah, this book is, it's a cool thing that I'm proud of. I wish I hadn't and I could share it. The other thing I would say with YouTube, my last video has 12,000 views. So when you're working on someone else's platform, they are controlling your audience. So get an email list, ConvertKit, I use SendFox, you can use MailChimp. Have an email list so you can communicate directly with your audience. Because now with YouTube, I'm at their mercy to have to make content to be able to talk to my, to the people that I've earned their Their attention over the past few years.

Chris Do: My guest has been Noah Kagan. He's, uh, the CEO and founder of AppSumo, which I love by the way. 'cause who doesn't like a deal on software and things that you use?

Oftentimes when I miss out on the deal, I'm like, God, I pay more for less right now, which is ridiculous. So, that's clearly a value delivery vehicle for whoever is able to grab these deals. But his book, by the time you hear this podcast or see this, you'll, it'll have dropped. It's called Million Dollar Weekend. He's given us a lot of really practical things, things for me to think about. And, and I'm just saying this as a person who teaches and coaches other people, I'm taking things from this conversation and want to turn around and say, Hey. What are things are you trying to avoid or your clients trying to avoid?

Those are business opportunities for you. I mean, there are many more nuggets from the episode and you'll have to watch the entire thing if you want to grab it all. You may be like me and filled up two pages of notes here. That's what I've done.

Noah Kagan: Wow.

Chris Do: It's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for doing this with us.

Noah Kagan: Thank you for being you and doing your work, man. I'm Noah Kagan. You're listening to The Futur.

Chris Do: Thanks for joining us. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week.

The Futur Podcast is hosted by Chris Do. Thank you to Anthony Barrow for editing and mixing this episode. And thank you to Adam Sanborn for our intro music.

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