The Ultimate Advice for Every 20 Year Old | Ep. #540

In episode #540, Eric and Neil discuss the very best advice for people who are just starting out. Tune in to hear what one piece of advice they wish they had heeded when they were in their twenties. 

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: The Ultimate Advice for Every 20 Year Old
  • [00:33] At 20, Eric was unsure of his future.
  • [00:59] You have to roll with the punches, stay the course, and be patient.
  • [01:05] When Eric went to Japan, he met a number of business owners, including one who focused solely on marketing within Pachenko games.
  • [01:30] 20-25 years into the business, he now has 20 offices around the world, a publicly traded marketing agency, and $200,000,000 in business.
  • [01:58] The key is to be open-minded and to constantly be learning from others.
  • [02:20] Stay with a project: good things will happen if you put in the work.
  • [02:45] When Neil started out, he attempted to do too many things at once, instead of focusing on one project. If he had focused, he would probably be more financially successful.
  • [03:12] As you are creating your business, your game plan is probably going to change, as will the industry in which you are investing.
  • [03:55] In most cases, the business you start will most likely not be the business you end up with.
  • [04:43] Warren Buffett didn’t get to where he is right away. He reached success at the middle point of his career.
  • [05:03] Gary Vee started out helping his dad with a wine store, moved it online, began marketing it online, then eventually his career path became about marketing. He grew and adapted.
  • [05:34] Things don’t blow up overnight: it takes hard work and persistence.
  • [06:18] When Jeff Bezos started Amazon, they had little to no profit margin; today, it is a major corporation that brings in tons of revenue.
  • [06:50] He’s a good example of a guy who stuck to his guns.
  • [07:05] Once you focus on one thing, don’t be afraid to disrupt things.
  • [07:18] Neil’s version of disruption is that he is creating software, but he wants to make it free and accessible to all; he believes software should be free.
  • [07:50] Check out all the tools at or
  • [07:54] They just launched A/B testing and WYSIWYG, where any website can be CMS.
  • [08:15] Ultimately, the message is to be patient, focus on one project, and stay the course.
  • [09:00] Eric has other businesses, but they cost him time and money. If he could go back, he would only focus on the agency.
  • [09:35] He thinks the agency would be five times as successful if he had focused solely on that.
  • [09:44] That’s it for today!
  • [09:46] Go to for a special edition of Crazy Egg, the heat mapping tool.

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The post The Ultimate Advice for Every 20 Year Old | Ep. #540 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we are going to talk about the ultimate advice for every 20-year-old. Here's my thought on this. At 20 years old, I was really ... By the way, let me know what you think about this. I'm going to try to slow down my talking here. At 20 years old, I was really concerned about what the future looked like. What am I going to do? What's my job going to be? How much money am I going to make? The kids, dah, dah, dah and here's the thing. I learned this, just actually, recently, I kind of got this reinforced. You just have to be, you have to roll with the punches, and you have to stay the course and be patient.
What do I mean by that? Here's an example. When I went to Japan, I met up with a couple business owners there, and one guy, he built a marketing agency that's focused on Pachinko, which is gambling, that game in Japan. When he started it, he started at age 30. He worked his way up and then started this business. He was the only an employee for maybe one or two years and then five years into maybe he had a couple of employees. Now he's maybe 22, 25 years into the business, he now has 14, or 20 offices around the world, 14 in Japan. He has a publicly traded marketing agency in Japan that does two hundred million U.S. dollars and it does a whole host of different things versus then when he first started it.
What's my point here? Anyway he introduced me to people that are very similar to him too that just kind of stuck with it. And just sticking with it and being open minded and learning and just being ... Here's the thing. Most people are too patient. We're looking at Instagram all the time. We're looking at all these people that are running ads. Let's say like Tai Lopez, Gary V's pumping out all this content. He wants to buy into the New York Jets. We're always comparing ourselves to other people's Chapter 25 when we're at Chapter 1 and we're barely even starting Chapter 1.
My thing is, if I look back, just stay with something longer. Don't try to jump around all the time. Don't try to do these different things. Just stay patient and good things will eventually happen as long as you keep putting good information in your head and you're learning from great people and again I talked about it in the last episode, I think eventually you've learned a lot and then you can start to earn and then you can start to build a micro brand and that's going to help you propel you even further.

Neil Patel: Eric mentioned it a bit and this is the big mistake I made, when I was a little kid and I started off I tried doing too many things. If I stuck with one thing and I did that one thing for the most of my career I would be way more financially successful. Maybe five, ten times more successful than I am today. Don't try to do too many things at once. It's just not possible. You need focus. You're not the next Elon Musk. I hope you are but the chances are slim to none.
The other thing you have to keep in mind is as you're creating a business or as you're going out there and figuring out what's your career path, it's going to change. Just like Eric mentioned with that story of the guy in Japan, when he first started out I'm assuming he didn't think he was going to have a marketing agency, he just started the game, correct?

Eric Siu: No, it was a marketing agent focused on gambling.

Neil Patel: Okay. Marketing agency focused on gambling.

Eric Siu: But he only started with one service business site.

Neil Patel: Okay, and then now he has how many?

Eric Siu: Now he acquired others like, oh, this is a video company, this is a billboard company.

Neil Patel: But does he only do gambling?

Eric Siu: Yes.

Neil Patel: He pretty much does multiple services for gambling versus one.

Eric Siu: Correct. And he started to stack those services over time.

Neil Patel: There you go, so he's expanding and growing. But in most cases, even if you talk to any venture capitalist, let's say they fund you and you get a million dollars in funding, they know that the business they funded you for is probably not going to be the business that you end up with before you exit or you fail or whatever happens at the end of the journey. Things change. You have to be okay with the change. Don't expect that you know everything. Be willing to adapt with the times. Learn and keep moving forward.
Just like this guy in Japan. He has multiple service offerings, technologies change and he's adapted with them. When he first started, I've never met him, but I bet he never imagined A, he would be this big and B, he would be doing all these things because shit's just evolved since when he started. When you look at things from a 20, 30, 40 year outlook you'll do quite well. You can't be impatient and you have to be willing to adapt. Warren Buffet didn't get to where he was right away. It was in the middle of his career where things started to explode. It's like you've got to put in so much grunt work and grind before you start seeing results.
People talk to me about Gary Vaynerchuk like, "Oh yeah, he's crushing it. He's awesome and he's amazing and he's smart." And he is all of those things but what people forget is Gary first started out helping his dad with Wine Library, which was their shop in New Jersey or wherever it is on the east coast. He helped grow it then he took it online then he created his daily wine episode and he kept growing that business and as it started growing then he started switching careers because you know what, he was more passionate about marketing or whatever the story may be and then he started doing the Daily V and podcasting and eventually it blew up.
And yes, in between Gary had a lot of successes and hits and you'll see that as well but people don't just blow up overnight or they don't succeed overnight. It takes years and years of hard work and persistence to get to where they are right now or where they want to be or where you want to be.

Eric Siu: Yeah, I think in the short term both Neil and myself are fairly inpatient people but I think in the long term we've become, as we get older, we're both over 30 now, we look at things, it's like we're a lot more patient in the long term. We're always willing to test different things. I think instead of trying to compare your journey to other people's just focus on your journey because you don't know what other people have been through. You never know what other people have been through but you know what you've been through. Who do you like the most? Yourself. You talk about yourself the most. Just think about your journey.
The final thing I'll add from my end is when you look at Jeff Bezos, years and years of basically almost no profit margin, little to no profit margin for Amazon and look at the monster that they are now. Now you're starting, you can see the entire vision. He's got Blue Origin. He's launching rockets into space. He's doing all these crazy things. I'm going to buy Whole Foods just to have all this distribution. You see the complete vision now and what he said was, he says to all these other, his competitors is that your margin is my opportunity.
He stayed very patient, very kind of, he just stayed patient and through the course and that's the really good example of a guy that's just kind of stuck to his guns. Don't think about jumping around all the time. Don't think about, "Oh, these other people are doing these opportunities, I want to jump in on it too." Try to focus in and just focus in on your journey.

Neil Patel: Yeah, and once you focus in don't be afraid to rattle up the cage or disrupt people. For example, Jeff Bezos' way of disrupting was very very low margins and amazing cost benefit to the consumer. Eric and I have our own versions of it. For example, my version of it right now is I'm trying to create software and I'm trying to make software free because I believe the future is people shouldn't have to pay for software. Big companies should pay for premium services but everyone else should just get the shit for free and the reason I'm saying that is technology's so much more affordable and easy that why shouldn't stuff be free. There's no reason for people to be paying a hundred dollars a month for stuff that cost five thousand bucks to build and everyone can just have it.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and you should go check out all of his, the tools. You can go to, you can go to, where else are the tools?

Neil Patel: The biggest one that we're doing right now is Crazy Egg. We launch like AV testing, Wiziwig where any website could be an editor and you can turn your website into a CMS. But eventually our goal is to figure out how to keep going more and more free and just make it so small and medium businesses don't have to pay anything for product.

Eric Siu: Yeah, final thing I'll add again is just reiteration. Looking at the guy, his name's Masa [00:08:17] from Japan, I mean coming back from that trip it's led to me thinking that man, if I just stay the course, if I just hold, be patient, same thing with holding your cryptocurrency right, people are just saying hold, you're going to get there. I firmly believe that whoever's listening to this right now, it's interesting because the podcast demographics, people are generally pretty affluent, pretty educated so the fact that you're listening to this right now, you'll get there in time. I think that's the key takeaway here.

Neil Patel: Yeah, and let's look at Eric's like for a bit and I've had similar experiences I just talked about. Eric has an agency. You're also part owner of a blog in the Gunspace [00:08:54]. And then also retirement home right, elderly care, whatever the industry's called.

Eric Siu: Yep.

Neil Patel: What's the one that's doing the best for you?

Eric Siu: The agency.

Neil Patel: Okay, the other ones, have they cost you time?

Eric Siu: Yes.

Neil Patel: Have they cost you money?

Eric Siu: Yes.

Neil Patel: Would you have made more if you had just focused on the agency?

Eric Siu: Totally, 100%.

Neil Patel: And if you could go back a few years would you have just not done the other things?

Eric Siu: I would have focused on the agency because the agency was the thing I kept trying to offload because it was in really bad position when I first came on. Then slowly we were able to turn it around just by being patient but I kept trying to do all these different things. If I just focused in, we'd be a lot further along than we are right now. I'm still really happy where we are right now but-

Neil Patel: How much further along do you think you would have been?

Eric Siu: I think we would have be five X where we are right now.

Neil Patel: Exactly. Focus. I made that same mistake. Eric made it. Please, do yourself a favor and don't make the mistakes we made.

Eric Siu: Great, so before we go, go check out to learn about Neil's tool, Crazy Egg and what we're doing and how you can get in on it. Again, and we will see you tomorrow.

Announcer: 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 and 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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