In episode #543, Eric and Neil discuss what makes an entrepreneur tick. Tune in to hear how you can think like a successful entrepreneur.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: How Successful Entrepreneurs Think
- [00:42] When Jeff Bezos started Amazon, he was 30 years old.
- [00:56] He was a stock trader before he quit to start Amazon.
- [01:12] He started with selling books and branched out from there.
- [02:00] People are always looking for profits, but he was unconcerned.
- [02:22] Jeff Bezos was able to think in the long term, which helped him achieve success.
- [03:06] All billionaire entrepreneurs are similar in that they are awkward, but believe they can do whatever they want.
- [03:55] Elon Musk made a $170 million exit from PayPal, but he still had to live with a friend, because he bet it all on his next venture.
- [05:02] The most common principle that you need to learn is that you’re going to make mistakes.
- [05:14] Successful entrepreneurs learn from mistakes.
- [06:52] If you can think like an entrepreneur, you’ll have a leg up on everyone else.
- [07:23] That’s all for today!
- [07:25] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special edition of Crazy Egg, the heat mapping tool.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: Today, we're going to talk about how successful entrepreneurs think. Maybe Neil, we can share a couple of stories about how we think certain entrepreneurs think, then maybe we'll come to a key takeaway. Maybe we'll see if we're on the same page. That'll be a fun experiment.
Neil Patel: Go for it. You start off.
Eric Siu: I'll start off with Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos, when he started Amazon he was 30 years old, or 31 or so. He had a really good job. I believe he was working for either Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley.
Neil Patel: He was a stock trader, and then the Hanauer brothers brought him over to Seattle, and that's when he started Amazon.
Eric Siu: Great. This is when the internet first started and he saw something. This is the big opportunity. His thinking was, "How do I get into this internet game?" His conclusion was, maybe it might make sense to sell books first. From books, eventually he started to sell more things. Then eventually from that, he started to add on AWS, which is Amazon Web Services.
They got physical products like the Kindle. They got Alexa, as well. Now they have Whole Foods. Then Jeff Bezos even took some of the money and started Blue Origin, which is a rocket company. Then he even said in, I believe, his college or his high school senior year, he was the Valedictorian. What he said was, he said, "Space. The final frontier. I'll see you all there."
It's something around that. I'm paraphrasing right now, but you can see he's realizing his vision now. The thing is this. Throughout the years of Amazon, for a lot of people, especially when it went public, he has to report to shareholders. People are looking for profits all the time. Profits, profits, right? When you're a publicly traded company, you have to report every single quarter.
People are looking at the numbers. They're scrutinizing you. He was not concerned about that. Over time, he's kept profit margins low and basically, he was just reinvesting, rebuilding. Just building infrastructure. To build the Amazon two-day shipping or Amazon prime, that's not easy to do. You got to have crazy infrastructure for that.
He thought long-term, and he was able to build all these things over time and telling people to be patient, and people bought into that. Look at what Amazon is today. Look at the monster that it's become. That's the very first lesson. I'm sure Neil's got some interesting stories too.
Neil Patel: When most people think about successful entrepreneurs, they think about billionaires. It was either on Quora or there was a article around the web. They were asking how billionaires are, and how they think. I believe it was Elon Musk's ex-wife or girlfriend or whatever it may be, that ended up responding. She didn't just get to hang out with Elon all the time.
She also got to hang out with the Google founders and other billionaires, as well. She was like, "They all have something in common," right? One is, they believe they can do anything and they don't understand that certain things aren't possible because then everything is possible. Two, she's like, "They're awkward." In which, it's like fitting a square peg in a round hole.
It just doesn't fit, but they just cram it in and they just try to make everything end up working. I'm paraphrasing, and I could have got some of the little things off, but the point is they're unique. They believe they can do whatever they want. They believe that everything is solvable and there's a answer. You just got to keeping, working at it.
Eric Siu: The next thing I'll say is, let's go back to Elon Musk which is an example we used a couple of episodes ago. When you look at Elon Musk, when he exited PayPal, maybe a little over 100 million. I think it was 170, or so? 170 million dollar exit, and guess what happened? I'm paraphrasing here. I don't have the exact numbers, but such and such, a good portion of that went towards Tesla.
Another portion went towards Space X. It got so such a point where he had to sit and live in a friend's apartment because he basically bet the entire farm on his new ventures. He could have said this. He could have said, "I'm done, man. I have PayPal. I got this 170 million," but guess what? He's going to take all that money, push all the chips in and say, "Hey. I'm all in. Let's go again."
Here's the thing. I've talked to other entrepreneurs. I think we were sitting at a dinner once. We're talking about, "Hey, if we were to lose everything, what would happen the next day?" Great. You just get back up next day, pick it back up, and you feel like you could do everything. You're gonna bet the farm, you're gonna continue to just keep reinvesting, betting it. That's how they become really, really, really successful billionaires.
Neil Patel: Going to the mindset of successful entrepreneurs, it's hard to replicate the exact mindset of Elon, or Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos or any of those guys. I've learned one simple thing for interacting with tons of people who've made hundreds of millions of dollars, and even billions, is the most common principle that you're going to need to learn is you're gonna fail and make mistakes.
That's okay, but what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the mediocre ones, or the ones that fail, is the successful entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and they avoid making the same ones over and over again. In addition to that, they don't just learn from their mistakes.
They also learn from other people's mistakes. They'll constantly read books of, let's say, the CEO of IBM or Amazon or the CEO of General Electric, breaking down their experiences. What they've learned, the mistakes they made, and how they would have done things over again. Again, I can't emphasize this enough.
You're gonna make mistakes. Learn from them. Other people are gonna make mistakes in your space. Learn from them. If you can avoid making the mistakes over and over again, or the mistakes other people made, you're gonna be successful. The question is just, when?
Eric Siu: Neil just hit the nail on the head. These successful entrepreneurs, they are voracious readers, or even learners. Now you have audible, so you can get audio books. You have podcasts. You're listening to this freakin' podcast right here. A lot of it's good information, from other people too, is free. Here's the thing. Here's the reason why, when I listen to podcasts, I order every single book on one-click Amazon.
I'll pay 15 to 30 bucks or whatever, but even if one of those makes a big difference or gives me that one big idea, the books have all paid for each other. I think books are such a steal, because you get all these ideas. To Neil's point, you talk about learning from other people. I've certainly learned from studying other entrepreneurs. I've learned from talking with other entrepreneurs in real life, like Neil or other people, hosting dinners, things like that.
Part of me is probably thinking, "I'm listening to this podcast called Marketing School right now. What does this have to do with entrepreneurship?" Even if you're a marketer, let's say you're a manager or an individual contributor. If you can think like an entrepreneur, you're going to have a leg up on everyone else because other people, maybe they're just thinking about clocking in, clocking out.
Working a 9:00 to 5:00. Living that lifestyle. Which I think is fine, but if you really want to get to the next level, the reason you're listening to this podcast is you want to get to that level about how these people are achieving their success. How you're going to do it is by thinking entrepreneurially.
Neil Patel: Best of luck. Hopefully you can learn from your mistakes. You can think the way that some of these guys are thinking, and you'll do well. Final words. We have a giveaway. Go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to learn more about what it is. Take part in it. It's free, and it's for your benefit.
Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics, to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. Don't forget to rate and review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.
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