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In episode #633, Eric and Neil discuss why you shouldn’t fall in love with an idea. Tune in to hear what you should love in order to be successful.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: Don’t Fall in Love With an Idea
- [00:35] Most startups start with a totally different idea than what they are doing presently.
- [00:54] Don’t fall in love with an idea, fall in love with an industry.
- [01:55] As long as you stick with your industry, you can build upon that experience, as opposed to shifting to something else entirely.
- [02:18] It’s like compound interest: the moment you stop investing, you lose all that interest.
- [02:53] Stay in your lane.
- [03:01] In a Nathan Latka podcast interview, the discussion was about sticking with one industry instead of branching out into the unknown.
- [04:02] You need to love what you do, but make sure you love the industry.
- [04:20] Elon Musk had ZipTo, then Paypal, then SpaceX. Because he jumped industries, he struggled much longer before his success.
- [05:23] It’s like WOW: you need to keep levelling up.
- [06:00] That’s all for today!
- [06:04] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric: And today, we're going to talk about why you shouldn't fall in love with an idea. Neil, what are your thoughts around this?
Neil: If you look at most startups, when they first started the idea that they had versus when they exited or went public, it's usually a totally different idea, or they've changed a lot. In other words, they've pivoted. As an entrepreneur or even as a marketer, you can't fall in love with just an idea, because things change over time.
Instead, you want to fall in love with the industry. If you look at a lot of these companies that pivoted, most of them are still in the same industry. Even Eric and I, we're both in the marketing industry. We've done many different things within marketing, but our ideas constantly change as time changes and technology changes, and because of that, we have no choice but to evolve. Don't fall in love with idea, fall in love with the industry.
Eric: Yes. This one is, going back a couple episodes ago, this quote kind of resurfaces again, where again, if you are a movie star and you try to do something in software, it's going to be a lot more difficult because you haven't built up equity, you haven't built up contacts in that area, but if you are a movie star and you're continuing to work on your craft, maybe 10, 20 years into it, you can perhaps become a director. Maybe you can do some other collaborations with other influencers that are also movie stars, as well.
Go back to Neil, for example. He is an influencer in the marketing space, and as long as he continues to stay in the marketing entrepreneurship space, he'll continue to develop contacts that way and build tools and build other solutions that will help people around marketing. That's what you're known for, and you think about compound interests, it's the eighth wonder of the world, or seventh wonder. I think it's the eighth wonder of the world, right?
Neil: I have no idea.
Eric: Yes, so compound interests over time. The moment you stop investing is when you start losing that compounding effect. Google what compound interest means, and it's the same thing with everything that you do. If you're going to invest in one industry, stay there, stay patient with it. I think a lot of people, continuing on this theme of patience, it's really easy to look at Instagram or Facebook or YouTube and look at everyone else's success, how many followers they have, and just look at their highlight reels, just like watching the ESPN top 10, right? At the end of the day, you're just playing your own game and you're focusing on what you're good at, so stay within your industry, stay in your lane. If you're not having fun with it, sure, leave, but hopping around, that's not the solution for long-term growth.
Neil: I was listening to an interview from Nathan Latka, and he has a podcast. He was interviewing Warren Jolly, one of the founders of Ad Quadrant. Warren breaks down how he did four million in revenue in the first year. I believe the second year was 15 million, and then the third year, it's an older podcast, I think his goal was around 25 million or 20 million, something around there.
Warren talked about how, because Nathan was like, "Wow, you go really fast. This is crazy. How'd you do it?" Warren was straight shooter. He didn't lie. He's like, "I was in the performance marketing industry before." He has an ad agency and he's a psych. "I leveraged a lot of my contacts, know how, took a lot of timing, but I was able to go really fast," because he didn't go into a brand new industry where he knew nothing about.
When you're in the same space over and over again, you're leveraging your contacts, your traffic, your relationships, your business deals. You're able to go back to your old customers and sell them on your new company. If you go into a brand new industry, you won't be able to do that. Yes, sure, whatever you're doing at that moment, you need to love it, but more importantly, you need to love the industry because once you pick something that you want to go into, you shouldn't try to keep adapting over and over and trying to find new industries. If you do that, doesn't mean you won't be successful. It just means that it's going to be a harder journey to get to success. If you look at Elon Musk, yes, he had Zap 2 I think was the first company that-
Eric: Zip 2.
Neil: Zip 2, and then PayPal, and then from there, he started getting into Tesla and SpaceX. Everyone's like, "Oh, he had it easy," but no one ever really talks about how he was sleeping on his friend's couches. Sure, he still had money. Not as much as he has now, but he still had something, but he had to struggle. If you go into the same industries over and over again, you have a much easier journey. You may not make as much as an Elon Musk, but life is at least easier as an entrepreneur and marketer.
Eric: Yes, and to give you guys a little more context on his story, when he got that payout from PayPal, it was $180 million, and his logic was he was going to put 90 million into these other companies. What he didn't know was that these other companies were extremely capital-intensive and where he actually ended up putting the rest of it into it where he actually had to, again, sleep on his friend's couch.
That's Elon at the end of the day, but I think the easiest way to think about this is the concept of games, for example. You're constantly leveling up. When I think about when I used to play World of Warcraft, for example, you start off with one class and you're constantly leveling up. You're getting to the next level and you can fight different things, but when you move into a different class, guess what? You've got to start from scratch again and level up again.
Again, just where you focus your time, this is why Neil and I harp on how important time is, because time is something that you don't get back ever. Money, I feel like at least for now, money is just something that you can just go get whenever. I feel like money is certainly something that's very replenishable and something that can be easily obtained. Think about your time, think about where you're putting it, be very intentional about it, and then you'll be fine. Neil?
Neil: That's it from my end.
Eric: Great, so that's it. Go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to check out our marketing tools and we'll see you tomorrow.
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