15 January 2024

In this week’s episode, Patrick Donley (@JPatrickDonley) sits down with Noah Kagan to talk about his new book, “Million Dollar Weekend”. You’ll learn about the early struggles of Noah’s career, the two main things that hold people back from their entrepreneurial dreams, why launching a business doesn’t need to be risky and why now is the best time to do it, why Noah walked out of a Tony Robbins seminar, and much more!

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Noah became employee #30 at Facebook where he reported to Mark Zuckerberg, he was the #4 employee at Mint and has created multiple multi-million dollar businesses.

Since 2010, Noah has been Chief Sumo of Sumo Group, an 8-figure company which offers ecommerce and marketing tools that help millions of small businesses grow their audiences and reach more customers.



  • What some of the hardships and sacrifices Noah’s made to get to where he is.
  • What his thoughts on mentors are.
  • How to learn the power of asking for what you want.
  • Why it so important to just get started working on your dreams now.
  • What Noah learned from talking with first class passengers.
  • Why having a day-job can be risky.
  • How he built a $100 million dollar/year business using the framework in his book.
  • What the writing process was like for Noah.
  • What holds people back from launching a successful entrepreneurial venture.
  • How to practice the idea of “now, not how”.
  • How to calculate your freedom number.
  • Why to set rejection goals.
  • How minimalism played a role in his success.
  • Why he is working on simplifying his investments.
  • Why you need to find the thing you’d do for free, but that is hard.
  • How Noah’s experience in real estate investing went.
  • Why entrepreneurship doesn’t need to be risky.
  • Why Noah walked out of a Tony Robbins seminar.
  • How to think about growing an audience.
  • What he sees himself doing in ten years.
  • And much, much more!


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:02] Noah Kagan: But go look at the people that are doing it. And I think that’s part of what my YouTube channel and all this is about is like if you just learn the power of asking, which is part of what million dollar weekend’s about, like if you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want grocery money, if you want to be a millionaire, if you want to be a multimillionaire.

[00:00:15] Noah Kagan: going to be a billionaire, you have to learn about how to start now. This is the number one problem. And the second thing that people need to work on is how to ask for things.

[00:00:24] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. In this week’s episode, I got to sit down with Noah Kagan to talk about his new book, Million Dollar Weekend. We talk about Noah’s early career struggles, why having a W2 job can be risky, why now is the best time to start your entrepreneurial venture, and how he’s built an 8 figure business using the exact principles he shares in his book, Million Dollar Weekend.

[00:00:46] Patrick Donley: After graduating from UC Berkeley, Noah became employee number 30 at Facebook, where he reported to Mark Zuckerberg. He was employee number 4 at Mint. And he’s created multiple multi million dollar businesses since 2010. Noah has been chief sumo at Sumo Group, an eight figure company, which offers e commerce and marketing tools that help millions of small businesses.

[00:01:08] Patrick Donley: I’ve been a big fan of Noah since I heard one of his podcasts in the early days of the Tim Ferriss show. So this was a blast for me to get to talk to him about his life and career adventures. There’s a lot of business and life wisdom that Noah shares in this one, so make sure to give it a listen to the end.

[00:01:23] Patrick Donley: And so without further delay, let’s dive into this week’s episode with Noah Kagan.

[00:01:32] Intro: You are listening to Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Since 2014, we interviewed successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to help educate and inspire the millennial generation. Now, for your host. Patrick Donley.

[00:01:57] Patrick Donley: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Millennial Investing Podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley. And joining me today is Mr. Noah Kagan. Noah, welcome to the show. 

[00:02:06] Noah Kagan: What up, Patrick Donley? 

[00:02:08] Patrick Donley: I’m so happy to have you on here today. I’ve been a big fan for years. I was telling you before we got started that I think I listened to one of your early Tim Ferriss episodes and I was like, I like this guy.

[00:02:18] Patrick Donley: He’s my kind of character. So thank you. First of all, for your time today. I just wanted to get into, there’s like a lot of people that look at you and think like this guy’s got it made, right? He’s got AppSumo, which is this, I think you guys are doing what? 80 million in sales this year or something around that number.

[00:02:33] Patrick Donley: You’ve got the successful YouTube channel. You’ve got this book that’s coming out, which we’re going to touch on. You’re living in, I think Barcelona right now, like you’ve got this very interesting life that you lead. And I think a lot of people can look at that and just say like, this guy’s got it made.

[00:02:48] Patrick Donley: It’s easy for him. But I wanted to kind of touch on some of the sacrifices and just rejections that you’ve had early in your career to get to where you are today. So can you kind of touch on some of those that like have shaped you that like. early on, it’s not been all roses and unicorns and daisies for you.

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[00:03:05] Patrick Donley: So can you talk about just some of the early hardships? 

[00:03:08] Noah Kagan: Yeah, it’s been a grind. It’s been a grind. And I think there’s a lot of things I’ve learned that I can help people save a lot of time to get to their own dream. And maybe it’s living the lifestyle I am. Or it potentially it’s even simpler in a different way.

[00:03:22] Noah Kagan: There’s no right or wrong, but I like how it is for me. And I’m happy to share these stories in terms of the struggles. I had a job at Google pre IPO. Then they pulled the offer. I had a job at Microsoft very early. that didn’t work out. Was one of the first people at Facebook number 30. They fired me. So I was going to be the stock alone today would be worth a billion cash.

[00:03:43] Noah Kagan: Your share, my share, I had 0. 1 percent of the company. So if you go look up Facebook and you type 0. 1%, then I started, I worked at mint. com that got sold for 200 million. I made nothing because I quit too soon again. Then I started a bunch of different businesses, probably about 20. give or take. One of them got banned by Facebook and sued by our competitor after we did well.

[00:04:03] Noah Kagan: And just, it’s been a grind, man. It’s been something that I thought, am I ever going to get rich? How did all these other people get this money? Is it, is there some book, Million Dollar Weekend, that I wish I could have? Or like, what are these things that other people know? And that’s part of what my YouTube channel has been about.

[00:04:19] Noah Kagan: That’s part of my own personal journey. And I think one of the things I’ve realized is like, my journey is the underdog. My journey is also helping these other underdogs. Like I just felt like people still are doubting me and that’s maybe my own narrative. And then how do I share my experiences so that people that feel like they, they want something different, they want something better.

[00:04:37] Noah Kagan: Maybe they want their own business. That was always my dream. How do they do it? And yeah, now it’s working out. It is working out awesome. I’m living beyond my dreams and I want everyone to do that. And that’s taken, it’s taken some time to get here. It’s definitely has. 

[00:04:50] Patrick Donley: So do you identify yourself as an underdog?

[00:04:53] Noah Kagan: I think there’s two parts of it. Candidly, one, I doubt myself and people would be like, really? Yeah, I’m human. And that reality is, you know, recognizing for all of us, like how come we’re doubting ourselves? What’s going on in this moment? And then realizing like, okay, maybe I’m actually better than I think.

[00:05:08] Noah Kagan: And I think most people out there are better than they realize. They’re closer. To the person they want to be than they believe. Like they don’t realize how much closer they are to the person they actually can be than they realize, like they can be there. There’s not some guru out there that has made a lot of money, supposedly that has some secret that you don’t know.

[00:05:26] Noah Kagan: Everyone can be whoever they want. And that’s been my belief where like, I can do it. I can prove these people wrong. I can prove myself right. And a lot of that is, is showing up starting now. right now during the show as they listen, not like, okay, I’m going to wait till the next show. No, start right now.

[00:05:42] Noah Kagan: And eventually over consistency and starting they get to these places. They’re like, I can’t believe all the things I’ve done. 

[00:05:48] Patrick Donley: So early on, did you have some mentors and guides that you were trying to model your life on that you look to, to be like, I want to be like that guy. I mean, people like today are looking at you saying, I want Noah’s life.

[00:05:59] Patrick Donley: Who were those people for you? 

[00:06:02] Noah Kagan: I’m going to be straight up. My life is awesome and I think when I, for me, I feel, I don’t feel cocky saying that. I feel like it’s, I used to live on couches for a year. Like I lived straight up on a floor and I was making six figures. I could’ve lived in an apartment, I was just cheap.

[00:06:14] Noah Kagan: And I lived in my aunt’s basement for a year. I lived in my mom’s couch for two years. Like I, I’ve been fortunate, born with two parents, born in the Bay Area, all these things. But it’s led me to where we are. And then specifically, you’re curious, what were you saying, Patrick, what you’re curious about? 

[00:06:28] Patrick Donley: I was wondering, like, who you were modeling your life on, like, when you were in your 20s, like, when you were in college, like, who were you looking at saying, like, I want their life.

[00:06:36] Patrick Donley: That’s who I want to model myself after. 

[00:06:39] Noah Kagan: I knew two things. That’s all I knew. I knew I wanted to be rich and I knew I didn’t want a boss. I knew it, like, without a doubt, with 100 percent conviction. And I think more people need to think about their conviction. What do you have conviction on and how do you get more of it?

[00:06:52] Noah Kagan: And so I didn’t have anybody that I could mentor. I think mentors are overrated. I think people think that there’s, like, Oh, if this one woman will finally advise me, I’ll finally get the knowledge I want. Or if I go work at a company, I’ll finally get that knowledge. You know, you get at that company, you get how to work at that company.

[00:07:06] Noah Kagan: And so, I think there are ways of doing it, where maybe you, well not maybe, where you get Certain slivers from other people. But what I recommend for people is go, there’s the amount of information. People always say this now, so it’s not as interesting, but go look at everyone’s haircut. Look at Noah’s bald head and see how he got there.

[00:07:23] Noah Kagan: Go look at Elon Musk’s style. Go look at someone who has a day job. And it doesn’t matter your age, go try these different haircuts and then think about, okay, well, what’s the haircut that really fits me and then think about okay, how do I get more of that for me? I try to get a mentor and he didn’t really care.

[00:07:39] Noah Kagan: This is at Facebook. And also I didn’t see anyone who exactly was doing it the way I wanted to do it. Like I wanted to be able to work remotely. I didn’t want a boss and people aren’t like, oh, let me go help someone like no one’s like out looking to help someone. So I think the two pieces if you’re Regardless of the age, is number one, help someone down.

[00:07:56] Noah Kagan: So if you want a mentor, if you want to get advised, go help someone below you first. Because you actually know more things than you do. And I think that’s a very powerful thing. I think the second thing that I think people neglect in their growth is you have already people that want to help you. in your network.

[00:08:12] Noah Kagan: And so how do you ask whoever is rich or smart in your network, and then see what they’ll actually be able to help you or refer you to someone else. For instance, when I was living in an apartment in Austin downtown, I had a landlord for my parking spot, and he seemed really rich. He had a nice car. And I was like, how’d you get rich?

[00:08:28] Noah Kagan: Can we have lunch? And he’s like, sure. And then I invested about half a million dollars in real estate with him. Subsequently, and what I don’t believe is like, I have a boxing coach. His name is Caleb and I love Caleb. He comes to my house. I have a two and a half million dollar house, which I can’t believe.

[00:08:42] Noah Kagan: Sometimes I’m like, can I pay for this? And it’s my, it’s beyond my dream. And Caleb comes to my house and we have a good boxing session and I pay him and he goes home. But what I want him to do and what I think everyone should do and what my YouTube videos are about is he should just ask like, Hey, what did you do to get here?

[00:08:56] Noah Kagan: And it doesn’t mean he should copy me, it doesn’t mean he can, but go look at the people that are doing it, and I think that’s part of what my YouTube channel and all this is about, is like, if you just learn the power of asking, which is part of what Million Dollar Weekend is about, like if you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want grocery money, if you want to be a millionaire, if you want to be a multi millionaire, going to be a billionaire.

[00:09:13] Noah Kagan: You have to learn about how to start now. This is the number one problem. And the second thing that people need to work on is how to ask for things. And so instead of trying to find a mentor, go see people who are rich, go ask for referrals. And I do this in my videos and it’s shocking. Like I literally went sailing with a guy who’s probably worth a hundred million or more just ’cause I asked him on the streets of New York like, Hey, you have a nice outfit.

[00:09:32] Noah Kagan: Like how’d you get Rich? And he owned ship tankers. It went viral. 

[00:09:35] Patrick Donley: Yeah, I saw that. That guy he bought and sold ships. Right. And you ended up going boating with him? 

[00:09:42] Noah Kagan: Yeah, I flew to Rhode Island and now we’re texting about books and things like that. And that’s not that I have an advantage over others. I was just in a regular close on the streets of New York.

[00:09:50] Noah Kagan: The reality is that I’ve been practicing and this is part of Million Dollar Weekend. That’s what, that is why I’m very proud of this book is that if people want grocery money or million dollars and beyond, it’s about how do I learn the two hardest parts of entrepreneurship, which are also the two coolest and most fun, which is starting right now, not how, which is in the book.

[00:10:06] Noah Kagan: And secondly, just the power and the upside of asking and how do you become skilled. And asking and making it easy and fun to ask. 

[00:10:14] Patrick Donley: I remember reading a blog post of yours years ago, and it was about getting used to rejection. And I think the exercise that you recommended was just going to a coffee house and asking for a discount, like a 10 percent discount or asking for a free coffee or something like that.

[00:10:28] Patrick Donley: So yeah, it just, I love that you are doing like you, I love the the first class ticket questions. Like you talk to the people in first class on airlines and ask them, how’d you make your money? Like it’s so fascinating. Can you share like a couple of the people that have like really stood out from the airplane questions?

[00:10:45] Noah Kagan: For sure. And we’ll take it a step back here. There’s a person like Dieter who read million dollar weekend, the book, and he has a day job in Arlington, Texas. He works for the government, but because of the reading the book and doing the coffee challenge, which you mentioned, which is asking for 10 percent off when you get coffee.

[00:10:59] Noah Kagan: And there’s other exercises in the book. He asked for a raise and got it, and he now has sponsors for his side hustle, which is wheelbrothers. com, and he’s growing his online business because he’s improved his ask muscle. And I think a lot of people want to hope for things, they want to wish for things, they want to pray for things, which I like praying, but I also like getting things, and the only way to get something is to ask.

[00:11:18] Noah Kagan: And that’s business, that’s relationships, that’s all of it. And that’s a skill that it’s not I have exclusive access to. I’m scared still. I was telling a friend earlier today when I did this first class passenger video where I asked first class passengers what they do for a living. I’m like anxious for about a month before I do it.

[00:11:32] Noah Kagan: You know, yeah, because I’m going to go interrupt and annoy people in first class that paid a lot of money to just be left alone and have luxury. And I want to know what they do for a living because all of us are curious and The thing that I’ve noticed from these YouTube videos is that the power of asking gives you two things.

[00:11:49] Noah Kagan: One, when they say no, it’s almost, it’s actually a lot less painful than we realize. And it’s a skill. Like, the more I’ve done it, and I still do it, I asked a flight attendant last week, I was flying from Greece back here to Barcelona, and I asked the flight attendant if he’d give me one of his chocolate rochere balls, not because I even wanted one, I just wanted to get rejected.

[00:12:07] Noah Kagan: And I think that’s the thing for all of us, like, what’s the moment that you start negotiating with yourself and don’t allow it. That’s it. And then you start thinking, I know Patrick, you’re doing real estate. Hey, you want to get a good deal on a house. You want to learn about how to buy real estate. You can now get practicing on these asking and it makes these kinds of things easier.

[00:12:22] Noah Kagan: The second thing with asking all these people like the first class passengers is just how many different ways you can get rich. I think the amount of ways that people get rich is insane because I come from Silicon Valley and I thought the only way to get rich is tech. And I think most Twitter and books say the only way to get rich is real estate.

[00:12:38] Noah Kagan: And which I would say is partially true if you have a day job. But the best return I’ve ever seen in my entire life is your own business. Not a book necessarily, besides mine, Million Dollar Weekend, but it’s actually making your own business. That’s like literally my company is 100 percent of year return for many years.

[00:12:55] Noah Kagan: Like this year, I think we’ll do somewhere around a 15% return. Like, show me a stock that’s going to guarantee you 15 percent and I’ll put all my money in it. And the reality is, it’s not. Why do you think Warren Buffett got the rich, the richest, I’m going to make up that word, from Geico? That’s where he’s made all his money.

[00:13:11] Noah Kagan: People are like, oh, Warren Buffett got rich off one thing, Geico, because he owns it. That’s it. And so I think for me, it’s like, Hey, it doesn’t matter what you do. There’s many ways to get rich, but just own the business. So on this first class flight, I think the two cooler people that I, there was a lot of awesome people that met me.

[00:13:26] Noah Kagan: I’d say the three coolest careers that I was like, yeah, rich in this one was dog breeding, which in the comments, people are like, that guy sucks. And I was like, I want to appreciate that he shared with us. I didn’t even know that’s really, you can make a lot of money doing it. I have no clue. I don’t have a dog, but I thought it was just cool.

[00:13:41] Noah Kagan: Like, wow, that’s it. That’s an option. If you like animals, there’s a lot of ways of getting rich. One guy, got rich because he owned Sbarro Pizza Shops in Chicago. You know Sbarro, right? You know, pizza stuff. And then he owned, he like parlayed that into other franchises. And the last guy he owns signs, like signs on buildings, you know, outside of building, it has like whatever it is across the universe and across the world.

[00:14:01] Noah Kagan: So I think for anyone out there, it’s the idea that you can actually get really rich. in multiple ways is very empowering that it doesn’t have to be one way. It’s whatever way you want it to be. 

[00:14:12] Patrick Donley: That’s what I love just about the internet today, whether it’s YouTube or Twitter or whatever it is, there’s so many interesting people doing interesting things and it’s fascinating learning about them.

[00:14:21] Patrick Donley: I’m sure you love like having the podcast and doing all the interviews that you do. Like, it’s just so cool to be able to talk to people. Like for me today, talking to you is like a huge treat. So, I mean, it’s just super cool the times that we live in and I wanted to go into the book. So like, when did the idea for the book come about?

[00:14:38] Patrick Donley: It seems like you’ve been talking about this, like for a while, right? Like that you can start a business in 48 hours over a weekend and do it. So talk to me about like the, how the idea for the book came about and then the actual, I want to hear about the writing process too. Cause I know you do the morning pages or you’ve mentioned the morning pages and that’s a great practice, which I’ve done as well.

[00:14:58] Patrick Donley: So I just want to hear about your writing practice, the idea for the book, kind of go into it a bit more. 

[00:15:04] Noah Kagan: Yeah, I love that book. Two separate questions about the writing process, but the book itself, there’s two pieces that, that happened. I think in our, right now everything is fast and I wanted something slow.

[00:15:13] Noah Kagan: So selfishly, I wanted just something slow. I wanted something that was going to take a long time. In Spain, there’s a Sagrada Familia, which is this church that they’ve been building for 150 years. And people love taking photos of it. And it always amazes me because how often are we dreaming bigger? How often we think this thing might take five years and that’s okay.

[00:15:29] Noah Kagan: And people are going to tell you’re wrong. People are going to tell you they doubt you. People are, it’s going to be a challenge when you stick with it. And I think for all of us, we’re most proud of the hardest things. And I was personally wanted to choose something hard. And I said, today, is there any book out there that I could give to my cousin or a friend or a neighbor if they want to actually start a business?

[00:15:46] Noah Kagan: And the answer is no, there’s not. Name one book that you could promise someone. If they follow this book, they’ll have a business. There’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Great. But what do you do? Yeah, it’s like, okay, cool. Do real estate, which I’ve lost a lot of money in real estate. I suck at all investing except starting businesses, which is the best return of investments.

[00:16:02] Noah Kagan: Thank God. And it’s also not risky. Risky is having a day job that sucks. We can get into that. So I think secondly, when I wanted a long, hard project that, that was going to take time. Secondly, there’s just not anything out there. And it frustrated me to see fiction writers, fantasy writers on YouTube in books that talk about this stuff.

[00:16:21] Noah Kagan: And I see what they say, and it’s just, it’s incorrect. It’s false. And I’ve done it a lot of times myself. I’ve worked for Zuckerberg. I’ve been at mint. com. I’ve done it time and time again, where I said, okay, I have something different here that I can work on that will impact people’s lives. And we’re doing it every weekend.

[00:16:38] Noah Kagan: There’s people reading the book now as part of our beta group before we launch. I had, I don’t know, 10, 000 people go through the course that I, that this was part of. Tim’s blog post that I put on Tim Ferriss’s website went viral with millions of people seeing it. And I’ve, you know, built a company that does almost 100 million in revenue a year based on the same framework.

[00:16:55] Noah Kagan: So I think I’ve, I figured some things out that others have not. And it’s been cool to be able to say, okay, I put it in a thing that anyone for, I think 20 can go and do themselves, which is insane of a price. In terms of the writing the book, I think the question that we miss out when we’re starting businesses is what does our customer want?

[00:17:10] Noah Kagan: At the end of the day, it’s like, who’s the buyer? And how do you guarantee success? I think a lot of times we’re hoping for success, but how do you guarantee on your life? that this works. And so I wanted to stack the deck is the phrase I was thinking about that there was zero doubt that the book will do really well.

[00:17:26] Noah Kagan: It will help people start a business in a very limited amount of time with no money. And so to give you an idea of stacking the deck, I hired James Clear’s proposal writer that took a year of writing a proposal. Then I sold it to the number one publishing company, Penguin. That took months. Then I hired Tal Roz.

[00:17:40] Noah Kagan: He’s wrote Never Split the Difference, which is a mega bestseller and Never Eat Alone. Paid him a ton of money. And then we together over 18 months wrote a book. And then I got a group of about a thousand people to beta test every single chapter and every single exercise. And specifically the book and it’s been a grind.

[00:17:59] Noah Kagan: It’s a grind and it’s a lot of work. My girlfriend, I don’t think I work that much. And my girlfriend’s like, baby, you work all that’s all you do. And it’s leading me to this point where I think we’ve not, I think we’ve put together a book that answer the hardest part of why people have not succeeded yet.

[00:18:13] Noah Kagan: And everyone out there has tried everyone wants this million dollar lifestyle and they don’t know the million dollar steps. And it’s like, okay, I can show you. 

[00:18:21] Patrick Donley: So what are the things that are holding people back? What are the few things that like, you know, everybody wants to have a business that’s successful, but like, what do you find is like the thing that holds them back?

[00:18:31] Patrick Donley: Is it limiting beliefs? Is it, whatever, insecurity? Talk to me a little bit more about what you found. 

[00:18:36] Noah Kagan: There’s just two things. The business stuff is easy. I’ll give you the steps. Like that’s not hard. It’s the two parts that stop them that they don’t realize and it’s intimidating. And so if they can, once they overcome it and have fun with it, they’re like, this is the thing I was afraid of.

[00:18:50] Noah Kagan: It’s like anything, my mom was scared of jumping off a boat and so she jumped off the lower deck of the boat and then she’s like, oh, this is not as bad. I can do this. And I think that’s what the book helps people do. And the two things that hold everyone back. It’s the fear of starting, the fear of asking.

[00:19:03] Noah Kagan: That’s it. And so people don’t realize this. People think, Oh, I just don’t have a good idea. People have all the excuses and they think, I don’t have ideas. I don’t have money. I don’t have time. I don’t have a technical founder. And all those are actually not true. I can prove to you, you can give me any business and I can even show you exactly how to start it without any money, without any time, without any of these things.

[00:19:24] Noah Kagan: And that’s the easy part. Like even real estate. Oh no, I don’t have money for real estate. Be a property manager. How much does it cost to be a property manager? Zero. You don’t have to buy the property and you get 15%. That’s a pretty good deal. You could be a cleaner, you could be a lawn person, you could be a house cleaner.

[00:19:36] Noah Kagan: There’s all these different options of making a lot of money in the space. It may not be the way exactly you thought it was could be, but you eventually can get there as well if you’re so stuck on it. So in terms of the two core pieces, how do you overcome the fear of starting the fear of asking, which is what everyone holds them back from the business stuff and the business stuff is easy.

[00:19:52] Noah Kagan: So number one, in terms of starting what we talk about is that now not how this has been a life changer for the people that have. Participate in the book. And so there’s a guy, Felipe, and the idea of how is, how do you just get going immediately? Not the next podcast that you listen to a millionaire invest.

[00:20:07] Noah Kagan: You’re not waiting for the next show. You’re doing it right now. You got an idea for a business text your friend right now. You get an idea. Like, I think I want to do a YouTube And once you break free of this delay one, that’s where the book is weekend. It’s not million dollar year. It’s not million dollar decade.

[00:20:21] Noah Kagan: It’s get off your ass because guess what? Everyone, you know, Patrick, I don’t know if you have kids. I think you have some, you have kids. Yeah. You have kids, stepchildren. Yeah. Yeah. Respect for the stepdads. shout out Norm, AKA dad, but everyone has a weekend available. To change their life. And so you have to start.

[00:20:37] Noah Kagan: That’s important. And the other part of the now not how habit is getting some clarity on where you want to finish. And so what I found that is successful for thousands of people is recognizing what your freedom number is. And so the freedom number is the number that you need to be able to do the thing you actually want to do.

[00:20:54] Noah Kagan: And so it’s a lot lower than people think. And the idea is, okay, what do I need to live? What do I need to eat? Maybe entertainment. And the number for me was 3, 000. I’ve talked to people that have 20, 000 freedom numbers. Everyone has one. And when you’ve decided your freedom number and you start thinking about now not how, you’re like, Oh, huh, I can actually do that.

[00:21:11] Noah Kagan: It’s not as bad as I think. Let me just go start taking swings, because it’s not going to happen right away. Like, it can happen, yes, in a weekend, and that’s the point of the book, but you’ve got to start it now. Otherwise, it’s never going to happen. And ultimately, in this concept, it’s like, all right, as you’re doing it, people put so much pressure.

[00:21:25] Noah Kagan: for it to succeed, Patrick. They’re like, this has got to work. I’ve got to go plan more. I’ve got to prepare more. I’ve got to read more. And if they can change their mindset into an experimenter. So there’s a guy Shaggy wants to do conferences and he’s like, look, I want to try a conference out.

[00:21:38] Noah Kagan: I’m going to just see how it goes. And if it doesn’t work, that’s okay. What am I going to learn? And if it does work great, then I have a business. But I think what happens, what I’ve observed in tons of people is they have all this pressure. And if it doesn’t work, they’re a failure. And so that leads us to the second most important point of the book and not even just the book of starting a business, which is the fear of asking, and it doesn’t ever go away.

[00:21:58] Noah Kagan: It doesn’t, it gets easier because people get better. And it’s how do you practice your ask muscle. So that’s where we talk about the coffee challenge, which is asking for 10 percent off coffee whenever you buy it. And it’s not about getting the discount. It’s about practicing, asking for things, practicing, asking a guy for his number or a girl for her number, practicing, asking for someone to buy your product.

[00:22:18] Noah Kagan: And what most people do is they just hope for it. Like, okay, I put a tweet out, but no one bought it. So I’m just going to stay with this job that I’m not happy with, or I don’t know what I’m going to do. And you start realizing, like, the upset of asking is you can meet people on planes. I meet people on their houses and their yachts, different things that they invite me to now.

[00:22:36] Noah Kagan: And it’s not that I have money or network that they know of. I just asked. And the more that people can practice that and they maybe, you know, one of the things that I found very powerful is this framework of around rejection goals. So instead of just, the more you practice it, the more you’re like, I’m just going to get rejected 10 times.

[00:22:51] Noah Kagan: Guess what? Within a 10, I promise you, you will find something about yourself and you learn about how to ask better. And you might actually get someone to say yes to you. It’s insane. And then, you know, I’m still doing it myself. These like, you know, the video you’re talking about, the first class passengers and.

[00:23:03] Noah Kagan: going up to them. It’s definitely intimidating. And I do it. And I have some goals, but all right, can I get 10 rejections? And out of 10 rejections, I actually got five people saying yes. And you see them on the video and that video is going to, by the time this comes out, have a million views. 

[00:23:16] Patrick Donley: There’s a lot of directions I could go in right now.

[00:23:18] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear a little bit more about the freedom number. Say more about that. Are you suggesting 3, 000 a month. Did you have I also want to get into the passive income stuff of real estate. Did you have 3, 000 of income coming in at that point that then you were able to, you know, do pursue your business and pursue something that you loved?

[00:23:40] Patrick Donley: Or talk to me a little bit about the freedom number and how people can utilize that. 

[00:23:45] Noah Kagan: Yeah. And the freedom number doesn’t have to be a million dollars a month, which is 83, 000. It could be whatever number enables you to live the life you want to live, whatever number it is, but you need some goal. You need some destination so that, Hey, if your freedom number is just like, I need some creativity.

[00:24:00] Noah Kagan: I want grocery money. There’s a woman, Jennifer Jones. She’s not trying to be a millionaire. She wants an extra thousand bucks a month for her family in Dallas. That’s it. And she’s able to do it through cookies. She just posts on her social networks and through her own personal network, your zone of influence, just cookies.

[00:24:15] Noah Kagan: And it’s easy to discount that like, Oh, well, that’s simple. It’s like, yeah, it is. It should be simple, but she started it now. And she asked, and then she has the business. And the steps in the business, you know, there, there’s a lot in the book that, that spells it out very clearly. And so in terms of the freedom number for myself, I was working a day job at mint.

[00:24:30] Noah Kagan: com, which I just, again, that wasn’t my dream. And I realized having this number, which was 3000, if I could get that on my side hustle. while my day job is going, then I could finally do the thing I want. And what the counterintuitive thing is, when I got to that number, even though it’s small, I was getting paid 100, 000.

[00:24:47] Noah Kagan: That was my salary. But I was like, if I can just get my freedom number, I can quit and do the thing I really want. And that’s led me to making 3 million a year today. Like that’s insane. That’s insane. But it was, it’s from a small number that helped me. Empower me to move in a direction doing the thing I actually wanted.

[00:25:04] Noah Kagan: And so if I made a lot more, great. And as I’ve gotten older, yeah, I have different things I want to lifestyle. I want to live, but it enabled me to get to a place where, okay, yes, eventually I’m now making, doing AppSumo. com, promoting software deals, which I love helping partners get customers, helping customers get great deals.

[00:25:18] Noah Kagan: And that’s all started from just a small number that everyone can obtain is just having it and then getting started moving towards it. 

[00:25:26] Patrick Donley: Let’s get into that a little bit because it sounds like you were practicing a lot of minimalism type principles. You were living on couches. You were living on a floor.

[00:25:34] Patrick Donley: I think I heard you tell a story that you had a sleeping bag and you brought a woman over and said, here’s my sleeping bag. You know, like you were living pretty Spartan like I would say. So talk to me a little bit about. the importance of minimalism for you. Was that a big part of it? I mean, it had to have been to some degrees, but I wanted to hear your thoughts on it.

[00:25:53] Noah Kagan: It was just being cheap. It was just being super cheap, Patrick. I’ve been cheap my whole life. I think, right. And to be clear, I’ve become a millionaire off a deal site. I’ve made my money on saving money. And so in this period of life, until I was around 37, I didn’t really spend a lot of money on myself, on others, on where I lived.

[00:26:11] Noah Kagan: On any of it. I think we’re kind of just taught to make money. We’re never taught to enjoy the money, so it wasn’t necessarily into minimalism, it was just, I didn’t feel comfortable enjoying it. And I was scared, you know? I was scared it was going to go away. I mean, my dad lost all of his money to drugs and drinking, and it all went away.

[00:26:27] Noah Kagan: And for me, a similar thing when I was like, okay, just keep making it. And when Covid happened was the first moment I was like, maybe I’m not going to live forever and I should enjoy some of this stuff. And so that’s where I started. Instead of just going and spending a bunch of money on Ferraris or. I’m wearing a Rolex and stuff like this.

[00:26:43] Noah Kagan: I just tried it out and saw how it felt. And so to drive a Ferrari today, you can drive one for 300 bucks. This is not some clickbait. You can go on Turo and rent one. And people are like, Oh, dude, it’s literally 300 bucks. I rented it. I was like, I don’t like it. It makes me too nervous. That’s why I have a Miata, but I have a 15, 000 bike.

[00:27:00] Noah Kagan: I have two of them. And people will probably be like, that’s crazy. But to me, that’s where I tried out nicer bikes and I keep cycling and over time, I’m like, dude, I would buy another one. I want to buy a nicer bike. There’s just nothing nicer today. And so I think when people say minimalism, it’s, I think they get it wrong and what they’re saying minimalists.

[00:27:16] Noah Kagan: It’s more just like, what’s the lifestyle you want to live and try different lifestyles out, just like figure out different careers and then find the one that suits you best. For me today, I don’t know. I have a very expensive house that costs a lot every month. And the older I’m getting, the more I want less things to deal with in my life.

[00:27:31] Noah Kagan: I want like my girlfriend and renting. I’d prefer to rent properties now versus owning, which has been a change of my own mentality. And I don’t want to make money in all these passive different ways. I want to make a lot of money in one way. That’s what I prefer. So I’m getting rid of most of my real estate.

[00:27:46] Noah Kagan: I’m consolidating all of my finances into just like, I think four ETFs. index funds. And I’m simplifying these things versus like, all right, how do I make a few more nickels off this stuff? 

[00:27:57] Patrick Donley: So your focus now is the book and AppSumo and everything else is like you said, I want to get into the real estate a little bit, but like you’re getting rid of the stuff that’s peripheral to like your main focus, which is, seems like your business and book.

[00:28:11] Noah Kagan: Yeah. I would say the top things in my life, AppSumo. com, my girlfriend, this book and YouTube. And I feel lucky and what I would say for anyone who’s It doesn’t matter if you’re super old, like a thousand, or if you’re 10 years old, the two things that I found for myself in terms of figuring it out, which I think we see these people like myself and like, Oh, he figured it out.

[00:28:31] Noah Kagan: It’s like, you didn’t see the times where I was drinking alone on a couch for like a long time and all the therapy I’ve gone to and like going to India and trying all this different, like ayahuasca stuff that my mom thinks is crazy, which, you know, The two things to figure out your purpose is it’s actually simpler than people make it out to be.

[00:28:45] Noah Kagan: Number one is just find the thing you want to do for free. Just find that. Like I love going on podcasts. I love making content. I love promoting things. I like sending out emails. I like marketing and that is my career. So find the work you want to do for free. The second thing, which was the surprise for me, was find something that’s hard.

[00:29:02] Noah Kagan: Find something that is going to make you proud of when, of completing it. Like I biked this morning and it was really hard. I was like, bro, I’m proud of you. Like, oh, that’s kind of cool. And so I think you have to find a thing that you enjoy and is challenging. And if it’s not challenging, guess what? Take your power and make it more challenging.

[00:29:20] Noah Kagan: And I think that has led me in this direction of to where I am today. 

[00:29:25] Patrick Donley: It reminds me a little bit of, we mentioned Kevin Kelly, I think, before we started recording. And he recommends like in your 20s, maybe even early 30s, like he calls it just slack, right? Just try a bunch of stuff. Like you don’t, you have no clue, you know?

[00:29:38] Patrick Donley: where we go to college and we’re supposed to declare a major and know what we want to do, but nobody really does. I mean, there’s a handful of people that are, may know exactly what they have wanted to do from a young age, but by and large, people need to experiment. So I like his idea, Kevin Kelly’s idea of just slack and just trying different stuff.

[00:29:56] Patrick Donley: And that permission can be hard to give yourself. There’s a lot of judgment. I would say like around. societal expectations of what people should be doing, like having a stable career and a stable W2 job and blah, blah, blah. It’s hard to maybe experiment like he would recommend. Do you have any thoughts on that?

[00:30:12] Patrick Donley: Like what you would tell somebody in their twenties, like how to find the thing that they love. 

[00:30:17] Noah Kagan: I have a friend who makes half a million dollars a year in his day job, and so it’s very hard for him to do side hustles. It’s very hard for him to start his own business. And he’s tried because he’s like, Oh, I make, you know, 30 a month here.

[00:30:29] Noah Kagan: Like I make, I made half a million this year. Why am I going to spend time doing it? And this is a surprising thing. I told him, I said, just enjoy the work you’re doing. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur. I do think everyone should try it. I a hundred percent think everyone in the world should buy a property, start a business, start a YouTube channel, start all these different things, try it out and try to learn what parts.

[00:30:50] Noah Kagan: You actually want to do or not? I think you learn a lot about yourself, you learn about talking with others, you learn about creating, you feel good about yourself, but it may not be to ultimately how you should make all your money. So I think that’s a separate thing. In terms of Kevin Kelly and experimenting, the book is called Weekend because we all have weekends available to change our lives.

[00:31:07] Noah Kagan: I think the main thing I would say is if people want to do entrepreneurship, but I think everyone should try it, grab the book, and get it going. The other comment I would make to my friend’s point is also if your life is good the way it is, just enjoy it. If you’re like, hey, I enjoy it. There’s this guy named Rick.

[00:31:21] Noah Kagan: Rick worked with me at Intel and I hated my job. I hated working at Intel. I hated going to office. I hated going home. Well, actually, I love going home because I could work on my own side hustles. Rick. was smarter than me. He was probably more ambitious than me in general. He was more capable than me in every way, but he was so happy leaving, going to work, leaving at five and going to soccer practice.

[00:31:41] Noah Kagan: And it was just a cool reminder that he found what worked for him. And so I like being rich. I think being rich has made me a lot happier. I think everyone should be rich. If that, I think they should try out being rich. Like I tried out having a six pack. I didn’t like it. I was like, I want to eat food and drink, you know, vermouth or whatever we have out in Spain, but I tried being rich and I’m never going back.

[00:32:01] Noah Kagan: Maybe when I’m in the casket I’ll be in a affordable casket. But the point is, you know, for Rick, he found his satisfaction and I like the ability. of ordering whatever I want on the menu, or flying first class, or flying private, or buying multiple things just because I have the ability. It’s not brag, it’s just that works for me.

[00:32:17] Noah Kagan: And I think people should find what works for them. 

[00:32:20] Patrick Donley: Let’s dive into real estate. You’ve got a pinned tweet right now about your experience in real estate. It sounded like you bought, what, three condos? And it hasn’t maybe gone like you had planned. 

[00:32:30] Noah Kagan: Dude, it sucks so bad. Like, I just don’t think anyone’s talking about it.

[00:32:34] Noah Kagan: Like every time I’ve, I was an 18 year old reading these books that was like, buy real estate and you just, you buy one, you leverage it. And guess what? You buy a second one and then you’re rich. And I’m like, I want to be rich. I should buy real estate. And then you do some of these online calculators and it’s like, well, if the down payment’s this and the rent is that, I was like, well, sounds like I’ll be rich two months later.

[00:32:55] Noah Kagan: And I distinctly remember I spent like six months buying real estate in Austin. That’s where I’m based the rest of the year. And it was six months. And I finally was able to put a bid on a house that I thought was a great deal. And I lost the bid. I said, Noah, this house, the house was 350, 000. I was like, okay, let’s do best case scenario cashflow.

[00:33:12] Noah Kagan: What could you make? And I was like, okay, this year, if it cashflow perfectly, I’d make 10, 000 profit. Assuming nothing breaks, assuming taxes don’t change, assuming that I have tenants, all these things, 10, 000. Okay. Now it appreciates 10 years from now. How much is it worth? Oh dude, it could be worth 700, 000.

[00:33:26] Noah Kagan: Okay. So in 10 years, it gets an extra 350, 000 a year on appreciation. Plus 10, 000. Okay. Cool. Cool. Cool. AppSumo was making 10, 000 a day in profit. And I was like maybe you should focus on the thing that works for you. Now the caveat here is that my stepfather is an engineer and he had a day job and he never had aspirations for entrepreneurship.

[00:33:47] Noah Kagan: They were terrified when I left Intel. They thought I was crazy. And I thought they were, he was crazy for having a job like that. I think, and entrepreneurship is not risky. You can do it for free. You could do it in a weekend. You could do it without a huge network, without a YouTube audience, all these things.

[00:34:00] Noah Kagan: You can definitely do that. And so for him, over a very long period of time, 20 years, they bought four properties and now the properties generate 5, 000 a month for them. And then they can live on that. And that’s good. So I think it depends on how you want it to be. I, what I realized is for myself. So I bought all these condos.

[00:34:18] Noah Kagan: So I have Today I have six properties and I just thought you buy properties and they appreciate any cash flow and you’re rich. That’s what happens on the Millennial Invest podcast. That’s what all these other people tell you. Now, these condos, I’ll just tell you exact numbers on one of them. I bought it for 350, 000 10 years ago.

[00:34:33] Noah Kagan: I was renting it to myself as our company, which is, by the way, for everyone out there, if you don’t have your own LLC, go get one. It is the best thing to do from a tax perspective and as well from just a money perspective. It gets you going on entrepreneurship and you can write off everything. Everyone should have an LLC, not just because of tax, just like getting your mindset moved into entrepreneurship.

[00:34:52] Noah Kagan: And so over fast forward 10 years, I couldn’t find, I barely could find a renter. It cost me with property tax, HOA, with the mortgage, it cost me like 2, 000 a month. And I could barely find a renter for 3, 000. Barely. So I make 1, 000 a month. That’s great. That’s kind of cool. Until, you know, it was empty for a while until the HOA said, Hey, by the way, you have to pay for a roof.

[00:35:15] Noah Kagan: Your fee is 12, 000 until the tenant who’s there complains about different things. And I was like that’s not at the blog posts. That’s not in the book. That’s not, and I have other pro I have two other properties that are profitable for now, but I wanted to put out a realistic idea that. It’s the upside is actually pretty fixed.

[00:35:33] Noah Kagan: And the amount of control to create more income from it is really only about buying more properties. And the amount of capital around that is, even if you’re leveraging it, it’s still high. And so for me, I like the idea of business where you can have it be passive. How? Hire people. You can have it be passive.

[00:35:47] Noah Kagan: How? Use software. And the thing with the real estate thing that pissed me off ultimately was that I don’t have some advantage in this game. What do I have? How could I beat you, Patrick? I can’t. I can find some other ways to beat people in areas that there’s less competition and areas that I’m more interested in.

[00:36:02] Noah Kagan: And now let me be clear. If you’re into real estate and you really love it, if you treat it like a profession, you can make professional income. I have, I do have friends that are millionaires, not just like, not the house is worth a million. They’re actually on equity worth millions. But that’s all they do.

[00:36:17] Noah Kagan: And I think people want to, you know, if you’re like my stepfather, fine, do it for 20 years and maybe you’ll have like a few thousand dollars a month. But I think there’s a much easier ways of getting rich. 

[00:36:26] Patrick Donley: So that pinned tweet, I think it got over a million impressions. Like it really struck a chord. Why do you think that was that it generated so many impressions and comments?

[00:36:36] Patrick Donley: And 

[00:36:38] Noah Kagan: I’ll tell you the fact, because I go on Twitter and I see people talk about their storage units, which I think are trash. I think storage units in general is garbage business. I don’t want to encourage people to have more. I think it’s stupid. So that’s number one. And then you see these Airbnb, STR short term rental people are duplexes or apartment buildings.

[00:36:54] Noah Kagan: And the majority of them are like, here’s a building. I flipped it and I’m rich. And one thing that you have to do is that if people are posting this publicly, what’s their incentive? And the incentive ultimately is they’re going to sell you something. So either they want capital like Grant Cardone does at a high level for their real estate, and they promise you returns, which may or may not be true.

[00:37:11] Noah Kagan: I’ve lost money. doing that. I’ve lost money in a lot of ways. I can share a lot of these kinds of stories. And then secondly, they’re going to sell you something else. They’re going to probably sell you a course. They’re going to sell you something that is how they’re actually make their money. Why did the storage unit guys have courses and all these other businesses?

[00:37:24] Noah Kagan: Because the thing that they say they do doesn’t actually make them as much as you think. And I want to, I think the counter example, it’s the same reason my Tony Robbins article went viral. It’s that, it’s not that you can’t make money in real estate, but there are other sides of it. And I think there’s other ways of making money that people should consider.

[00:37:40] Noah Kagan: And so I think the fact that it was like, Oh wow, like it’s not always, it doesn’t always work. It works when you post something. It works when someone shows a title of how much money they made. I made this much money. It’s like, did you? And so I think the fact that I showed, and it’s probably more than that number.

[00:37:53] Noah Kagan: I said 55, 000 this year. It’s probably more that I’m losing and people just don’t see that. 

[00:37:58] Patrick Donley: So you’re getting rid of all your real estate. You’re done with it. 

[00:38:02] Noah Kagan: I have, so I have six places, three or, yeah. are like work spaces. I’m going to get rid of two of them. The other two are Airbnbs that, for the most part, I don’t have to deal with, for the most part, and then my primary residence.

[00:38:15] Noah Kagan: But moving forward, I want to reduce these real estate properties, put it in the market, just in the S& P, and then in Spain, most likely rent. Right now I’m living with my girlfriend, but we’ll rent a nicer place in the years to come. 

[00:38:28] Patrick Donley: You mentioned the Tony Robbins article. Talk to me a little bit about that.

[00:38:31] Patrick Donley: You walked out on Tony. 

[00:38:33] Noah Kagan: I did. That article went hyper viral. And what happened again is it was a similar story. I talked to a lot of people before I went to Tony Robbins. I was at a low in my life about what to do for work and what to do in my relationships. And everyone’s like, Tony, I love Tony. Tony’s the best ever.

[00:38:48] Noah Kagan: Tony’s so good. And then you read all these books and Tony’s so famous. And I was like, well, it must be true. And I went there and I was like, this sucks. He’s trying to sell me supplements. I’m yeah, there’s a whole day dedicated to selling supplements. And then he’s trying to, I have to massage another guy.

[00:39:05] Noah Kagan: You have to massage your neighbor. And I’m like, okay, yes, I’m out of my comfort zone. I got it. And then it was jumping up and down. And I think his stuff can work for people. And I think there’s good messages in there. And he’s name dropping like crazy. I’m like, okay. The problem with the Tony experience is that it works for some.

[00:39:21] Noah Kagan: But when you have 14, 000 different people in a stadium with 14, 000 different problems, like it’s hard for him to help everybody. But everyone tells you it’s good because they want to reinforce that they made a good decision. They want to think, Hey, I went to the event, it was good for me. And so no one was telling anyone that it may not be good.

[00:39:36] Noah Kagan: And I, I felt it was appropriate to, and he was a customer of my, of the business I was running, the software company. And I was like, no, I still feel comfortable. And I think there’s a lot of people that have benefited from him. And I said that, but I personally walked out. And I think it’s, you know, when you create content, you know, I’ve created lots of content over the years.

[00:39:55] Noah Kagan: It’s what is interesting content and why? And if you’re just putting out the same as everyone else, it’s not going to get attention. But if you have a different opinion and you could back it up, there’s probably a chance that people will pay attention to you. 

[00:40:05] Patrick Donley: I wanted to get into that a little bit, like your number one tips for like producing an interesting YouTube video or producing a great Twitter thread or, you know, things like that.

[00:40:13] Patrick Donley: Let’s start with YouTube. Like what’s your number one, you know, for somebody that is just getting started producing content, what would you tell 

[00:40:19] Noah Kagan: them? Yeah. Yeah. We, and we talk about this in the million dollar weekend and there’s resources. If people go there, you can go and join. We have a resource section that if you just go to milliondollarweekend.

[00:40:29] Noah Kagan: com and people will be able to get all this stuff that we’re going to talk about. The mediums can change. Like when I started blogging was popular and then. Twitter is kind of popular and then Twitter became not popular and then Twitter is popular again. Email is popular, then it went away. And so I think that the two things I would consider is what’s the channel that you enjoy that you can build an audience?

[00:40:46] Noah Kagan: And then what’s a channel that you can communicate with your audience? That’s the only two major things. How do you grow your audience? How do you communicate? How you’re going to grow it can change based on what world we’re in when you’re listening to this. And what’s working. LinkedIn might be for you.

[00:40:59] Noah Kagan: LinkedIn by the time in five years might be gone. And so it’s just finding the medium that you could, that you enjoy that is working. And then secondly, communicating. And the number one thing is email, period. That might change to other mediums, but you have to be able to control it. Now the, so that’s where I would start.

[00:41:13] Noah Kagan: And I use sendfox. com for email. We built it. It’s free. In terms of the organic social content, I think you have to think about where you’re spending your time and where you enjoy. I probably watch about maybe six hours a day of YouTube, three to six hours a day on YouTube. 

[00:41:27] Patrick Donley: Consuming content? 

[00:41:28] Noah Kagan: Yeah. I watch a lot of poker, squash, my videos.

[00:41:33] Noah Kagan: I watch almost no other business videos because I think they’re all trash. I don’t know. I just, I’m like, I don’t believe you show me your, none of them have real businesses. They just have YouTube channels. I watch I don’t know, fantasy football, people talking, I watch like people do camping, I watch biking videos a lot, I just watch a tremendous amount, and so, for me, making content there is really fun, cause I like the attention, I like being on screen, and to be clear, one of the things that I think is not talked about enough is that if you’re excited about a medium, you don’t have to be on camera, so you could actually do a lot of, you know, put up videos, or things where you’re talking behind, you could be the guy who’s doing producing, or you could be filming, or you could be editing.

[00:42:07] Noah Kagan: There’s a lot of ways of making a lot of money not being on screen. And I think that’s a misconception, like, that most people make. They’re like, Oh, I don’t want to be on camera. You don’t have to be. Now, in terms of making content, the mediums change, and every medium is different. I was doing initially, like, all of them.

[00:42:21] Noah Kagan: And I recognize, okay, if I can only do one, which is the one that’s working for me to get an audience, that I like the audience. Like, I hate TikTok audience. I think TikTok is trash. I think all the content is trash. I think that most of what they do is trash. And I spend zero time on it. And so I was like, Oh, well, I like the audience in YouTube.

[00:42:37] Noah Kagan: I like the comments on YouTube. So try them all out and see which one you like the results of it. And so how do you make something successful? Now there’s a formula that I would think about. And the main thing, the number one thing to think about is how much time are you thinking about what you’re writing?

[00:42:50] Noah Kagan: This is the part that people miss. People are like, Oh, I filmed a video. No one watched it. It’s okay. So the two pieces that I would do is number one, how much time? So when we make a video, we probably have about a hundred to a thousand ideas per video of what video to make. And we only do two videos a month.

[00:43:03] Noah Kagan: And what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re creating content, just be clear of what you think will do well. And that’s why, like, you saw the real estate tweet that went viral, but I’ve put out, I don’t know, 10, 000 tweets and like a hundred have done super well, 1%. And so that tweet, I did spend time writing and I was like, okay, yeah, this is going to do well.

[00:43:19] Noah Kagan: Cause it’s a different topic. So again, spend a lot of time thinking about the topic. Number two is the law of 100. And so the second most important, it doesn’t matter which medium, but commit to doing a hundred pieces of content. So the first year of YouTube, which I started with my iPhone. iPhone 12 shirtless in my house and I just recorded a video that was like COVID sucks, but here’s what I’m doing.

[00:43:38] Noah Kagan: I feel really good. And then I kept going. I committed. And if you, so you don’t, my point is you got to do now, not how don’t worry. Oh, I don’t have a lighting. I don’t just get your phone out and record a video. Put it up, write the tweet right now. Text someone about a customer that you want them to be your customer.

[00:43:52] Noah Kagan: Text them right now. Put out a photo on one of the Instagrams or wherever people are using and then commit to 100 of it. And the Law of 100, you know, I gave up on my podcast too soon. That’s something I wish I would have stuck. I’m still sticking with it now. But if I would have kept sticking with it from the original days, I mean, it would be a top 10 podcast, but because I didn’t stick with it.

[00:44:11] Noah Kagan: And so with YouTube, one, we’re very intentional about our topics. And there’s a lot of more technical things and more strategy that maybe for the second episode. But the second part is just sticking with it. Like the first year of YouTube, really, I did 52 videos. No, excuse me, three videos a week for 52 weeks.

[00:44:27] Patrick Donley: And that was started during COVID? 

[00:44:29] Noah Kagan: Yeah. 150 videos. You can go look, they’re all still up. And we found though, was after doing 150 of them, it was like, huh, only one or two of them really work. Let’s just do two really high quality videos a month. But it’s because we stuck with the law of 100. put out a ton of content and we kept getting better and better.

[00:44:44] Noah Kagan: And it was like, Oh, these work. Let’s just do more of those. And the two videos that we do are asking millionaires and asking old, rich people like their wisdom. 

[00:44:51] Patrick Donley: I wanted to touch on a little bit about, I heard you mention a book that made a big impact on me called the power of full engagement by Tony Schwartz and.

[00:45:00] Patrick Donley: One of the ideas that I thought was interesting is not so much about managing your time, but managing your energy. And I heard you talk about that, like, I wanted to hear how that shows up in your own life about how you think about managing your energy as opposed to managing your time. 

[00:45:15] Noah Kagan: I believe that people are way too focused on productivity and time management.

[00:45:20] Noah Kagan: What I have found ultimately what works is find something that you don’t have to manage. Because your book, and I love this book, to be clear, I think there’s a lot of good, there’s 4, 000 weeks, there’s powerful engagement, there’s get things done, there’s, the amount of productivity books is actually shocking, and I love productivity, I love mouse speed, computer speed, all these options, I do enjoy it, but what I’ve ultimately found is just find the thing that you want to spend all your time on, and everything else, just trying to ignore, that’s pretty much it, and so today, it’s my girlfriend, it’s AppSumo, and it’s this book, and then YouTube, a little bit, and it’s not, I don’t have to manage my time around it.

[00:45:54] Noah Kagan: I’m like, okay, cool. I get to spend all my day doing this stuff. There’s more process and things that I think will help you, but I think people are trying to optimize the wrong parts. Find something that you’re just like, yeah, I love spending all day on it and just do that. 

[00:46:05] Patrick Donley: I found that like, I forget who said this, but it’s something like, no, just notice what gives you energy.

[00:46:10] Patrick Donley: Notice like what takes energy away from you or makes you feel depleted. The people, the places, the things, the activities that deplete you versus like what’s giving you energy and focus on the stuff that’s energizing you and getting you excited about life. 

[00:46:21] Noah Kagan: True. I also, I do think that’s tough when you have a day job.

[00:46:25] Noah Kagan: And you have like, you know, like similar to you, you have a family and you have limited capacity to have agency over your time. When you have a boss and you have someone telling you what to do, that makes it harder. And so the reality there is, well, it’s like, you’re not going to tell your boss, Hey, you don’t give me energy.

[00:46:39] Noah Kagan: So I’m not going to do this meeting. You’re not going to, but you have your nights available. You have your lunches available. You have your mornings available. You have your weekends available to make that change. And the same thing does go for your work week. Like if you’re in a lot of these types of work, like my girlfriend has a regular job.

[00:46:52] Noah Kagan: She can’t really do that, but she can start planting seeds to change her job. She can start planting seeds to start her own business. And the important part is starting that today so that, you know, by the time I’m 40, I’m like, Oh, I’m really enjoying the fruits of all the labor. I never understood that work, but the fruits of your labor is because you’ve worked your ass off.

[00:47:06] Noah Kagan: And I didn’t want to enjoy it at 60. I didn’t want to finally go on a yacht at 60. I want to go on a yacht at 40. I wanted to fly private at 40. I didn’t want to wait super long, which 40 maybe for some seems long, but for me, I feel it’s about right. I wanted to do the work. I wanted to find hard work. And so in terms of the energy, yeah, just find stuff that you don’t sweat the energy.

[00:47:23] Noah Kagan: Just like I get to do this stuff and this is my job. I like it when my girlfriend’s like, yeah, you work a lot. I was like, I really didn’t think I was working a lot. Yeah, that’s great. It’s a good life. It’s a great life. I’ll give you one other tip on that for most people out there. The simplest, and I do this every single week.

[00:47:38] Noah Kagan: I’ve done it for the past three years. On Fridays, I evaluate my week on three criteria. Number one, what are the things I said I would do? And did I do them one through five? Number two, what’s my behavior consistent? And number three, what are the top three things I want to do next week? And what that does is it really focuses me.

[00:47:52] Noah Kagan: And it really helps me think like, because I have it automatic. I get a notification. It’s a Google form. And then I can actually see, Did I do the things I said I would do over weeks? Was my behavior consistent? And did I do the things and it helps me focus in that upcoming week? Like, here’s the three things I’m doing this next week.

[00:48:05] Noah Kagan: And that’s really kept a lot of clarification and ultimately prioritization to the things that, that actually matter for me. 

[00:48:12] Patrick Donley: Do you see yourself in 10 years from now doing AppSumo, writing books, doing YouTube? Is that something you think you’ll continue to do? 

[00:48:20] Noah Kagan: Writing another book? No, this is everything.

[00:48:22] Noah Kagan: I put it all in like there’s not most people’s second books suck because their first book there’s they have pressure on themselves and they put everything they have. I think there’s a second book in me around how to run a, you know, a hundred million dollar business. So maybe the second, but I have zero interest in that.

[00:48:36] Noah Kagan: The AppSumo stuff I will share is very stressful. You know, you’re dealing with a hundred, we have 70 plus people, you know, I got a bill yesterday, 170, 000 in taxes. That’s just a surprise bill. And so I want to be a good father. I want to be a good partner to my girlfriend, ideally wife one day. And to do it at this level is stressful.

[00:48:55] Noah Kagan: Then it’s, I don’t think it’s possible to run a business without some level of stress. Like you can hire someone else. And it was nice. I hired a CEO in the past. So ultimately I might get to that. I think I could see that in the next five years, someone taking it over, and I’m more of a chairperson. So just kind of overseeing it.

[00:49:10] Noah Kagan: I think the YouTube thing as well. Yeah. I want it my goal for YouTube is to do it for 10 years. So I only do content that I could do at least again in the next 10 years. Cause it’s so easy if you do it once and I’m like, I hated doing it. Yeah, of course you’re not going to do it. So. My goal is do stuff I’ll do for 10 years with content creation.

[00:49:26] Noah Kagan: And so with YouTube, it’s shifting more as I have a family. I don’t have time to go fly to Monaco or Switzerland to ask people on the street how they got rich. But if I can do interviews like this, talking to people that I want to share their stories or doing maybe some of these challenge videos that are closer to home, some variation of it.

[00:49:42] Noah Kagan: But yeah, I think about the 10 year rule with creating the content. So yeah, some variations of all this stuff. I love my life around this work. I think I want to reduce some of the stress in AppSumo and figure a little more. balance so I can save some when I come home at night. 

[00:49:55] Patrick Donley: Noah, thanks so much for your time.

[00:49:57] Patrick Donley: I’ve really enjoyed this and hope our listeners get a lot from it. The book comes out in January and I’m looking forward to getting it. I know I’m going to buy it myself. So, yeah, best of luck with it. Where can our listeners find out about you, learn more about you, learn about the book, things like that.

[00:50:12] Noah Kagan: Hell yeah. A lot of things we’ve talked about. We have a resource section. If you go to milliondollarweekend. com slash podcast, there’s a resource section for free. Give your email and it’s got a lot, everything in the book and a lot of the different kind of templates and structure that we’ve talked about today in the show.

[00:50:26] Patrick Donley: Cool. I’ll put that in the show notes for sure. And once again, thanks Noah. I’ve been funded. 

[00:50:30] Noah Kagan: Shout out Columbus, Ohio. Thank you, Patrick. 

[00:50:33] Patrick Donley: Okay, folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the show and I’ll see you back here real soon. 

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