How to Be a Founder and Change Your Thinking with Noah Kagan

[This episode has been transcribed from the Freelance Fairytales Podcast]

Alex: Hi, guys, welcome back to the freelance fairy tales podcast where we chat all things remote work, freelancing, mindset and financial freedom. This week, I’m very excited to welcome on my friend Noah Kagan, Chief sumo and CEO of app sumo platform that provides their partners with access to the hottest startups and tech companies with more access to affordable software solutions. Noah is also single handedly credited with helping me recover my permanently banned tic tock account this summer. So if you follow me and you like my tic tock, you have this man actually to thank for it right now. He was also employee number 30. At Facebook that’s in your Instagram bio. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I just copied it. From there. I’m gonna think it through so we’ll go with that. It’s on the internet. It’s on the internet, okay. And host his own exclusive newsletter through his Instagram account. Lastly, Noah is an accomplished youtuber with a verified account of over 217,000 subscribers on YouTube. With that, hi, Noah.

Noah: What an intro. Great to see you Alex. You know if you put it on a bio, it’s true.

Alex: I saw your Instagram bio. And I was like, I’m gonna guess this is true, knowing you that you were employee number 30 at Facebook, so I’m gonna throw it in the intro.

Noah: I think that’s kind of a cool idea just for anyone is that what’s the bio people want to read about themselves? I know you kind of inspired me. I was like, what’s the bio today that I really want to be proud of? Right? And I you know, app sumo calm and really proud of the YouTube work we do to help people and like, you know, fun business videos and the Facebook one. It’s just it’s a bigger name. But that’s Yeah, I think a bio thing I want to delete. As we move forward.

Alex: You know, I feel like what’s tough about people like me and you is that it changes so often what we’re currently prioritizing that I’ll feel really bad for people. And they’ll say to me, what do you want your bio right now? Because it changes so quickly for me. I don’t know. I guess my bio would just say I’m the freelance fairy, and I’m here to help people quit their nine to five. That would be it. That would be the bio. It’s a great one. Thank you. No, I think it works. But alright, so basically, ever since I met you in person, I tell everyone I meet in real life that you saved my life. And then they stare at me and they’re like, What are you talking about it he like, pull you out of a river or something? And I know, I’ve brought this up to you like 1000 times, but I honestly don’t think I would have been able to recover my tick tock. If I had not met you. I think it was fate.

Noah: I’m glad that my greatest accomplishment in life is getting a tick tock back. I mean, I was like, you know, helping, you know, hunger, helping people get jobs. I was like, No, we need to Alex online, tick tock. Now, let’s keep talking.

Alex: I think there’s half a million people who are very happy that you did that. So guys, if you’re listening, if you want to send him a gift basket again, like, I really don’t know what I would have done. I had exhausted all means at that point. I never asked people for anything. And something told me at that night, I was like, This poor guy. I just went on his podcast, I’m already asking him for favors. Like, I’m so annoying. And I just sat there. I was like, I’m just going to ask them. What is the worst that could happen? I’m just gonna ask this guy. And I text you and you’re like, Yeah, sure. I can help. I was like, wait, what?

Noah: Yeah, yeah. And a lot of my content. It’s about asking people, right, like a lot of what I asked, you know, teacher, you know, what app Sumo? I mean? It was asking asked people who are making awesome tools like, Hey, do you want to be promoted? And like, Do you have a special price we can do on I think the other side of that what’s interesting is, like, how are people meeting people? So for me, you know, we met you seem like you’re doing interesting things. I want to be around people doing interesting things. And so a friend of mine, that I’ve known for six, seven years is pretty high up particular. But I knew him when he before he was ever there. And so I think with with people in general is like, how do you just be around or like in the areas of people doing interesting stuff? Because I’m guessing my you know, my only fans account, when it gets down or you know, my Twitter, I’m gonna call you up and be like, yo, it’s down, do your thing. I was like, way to offense. I do have an only fans. I have four subscribers.

Alex: I was like, don’t even tell me you have an only fans account. We have to talk about that right now. Notice your subscribers.

Noah: Like, what’s interesting is when you surround yourself with interesting people, eventually the web because it’s so small like it comes across each other.

Alex: I mean, the circle gets smaller. Really, I feel like the more you dive into something like being a content creator, being an entrepreneur, being a startup investor, whatever I feel like the more you get into it over time at a certain by like 30 It’s like just the same seven people.

Noah: One thing I was thinking about today and I’m curious, your opinion, because you know, with your audience and the people, you’d see people commenting on Tik Tok, and comment on your videos and all these different things. Do you ever notice the winners? Though? Something I was thinking about today? It’s like, do you ever notice the people that you’re watching online? Or the people commenting people doing stuff like that girl, or that guy is gonna win? And then as I was reflecting yesterday…

Alex: yeah, I do notice that while my lives and everything, but I have people who will comment, I guess, instead of being like, that helped me but helped me it’ll be the people who will write and say, Thank you for that piece of information. I’m going to use this and I’m going to apply it I’m going to do it today. And Alexei it is a statement and I’m like, hell yeah, you are. And it’s like, you just know they’re going to go be successful.

Noah: There’s just something interesting about it. Yeah, I know, we’re talking about being able to help each other. But I think it’s just like, are you you know, part of the people who are succeeding, it’s like, they’re kind of just in the same places as other people. They’re also just not, they’re persisting. Like, someone made a joke about me yesterday. They’re like, No, you’re the only 40 year old YouTuber left. I was like, fuck, man. Like, that’s it? I’m 39 technically. I’ve been doing this for a very long time relatively, you know, 20 years.

Alex: Have you been making content on YouTube for?

Noah: My first video is 2006. But I’ve only really, in I would say, seriously invested two years, I’ve been online blogging and tweeting and all the different mediums over the years, but YouTube about hardcore almost two years now.

Alex: Wow. So if you got out in 2006, that was only one or two years after it was founded.

Noah: Yeah. So it’s actually pretty funny. When I was at Facebook, the guys came to me and they pitched it. They’re like, Hey, we’re gonna do this YouTube thing. It’s kind of big was Steven Chad. And they’re like, Yeah, we’re gonna do it. And I met with them. And I was like, that’s cool. I think there’s a new well, but I think we’re gonna be bigger than you guys. You know, obviously, they they went off to do pretty well.

Alex: You’re saying this, like so casually, like, oh, yeah, no big deal. Like they pitch YouTube. To me. It’s whatever.

Noah: Well, the funny even crazier story is I created a competitor to them a year before, called fat cast. And you just got to keep at it. Ours. We chose the wrong technology. We did it on tour. They did it on like streaming. So you could do flash. You didn’t need a browser, a client, you didn’t download anything and just watch. Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting. Like, eventually, I found something that worked with apps, you know, they found something that worked pretty quickly right away.

Alex: Now, alright, let’s say someone’s listening to this. So you’ve been making content for 15 years, or a little more even? What would you say as Ben, your bit? And your number one reason you’ve been successful with it all this time? I think you had just said you were consistent. Is that what you would attribute it to?

Noah: I think my success is a lot of different things. I mean, straight up. I’m very lucky, like my parents are I have two parents. I grew up in Silicon Valley, all my friends are rich. Like I grew up around a lot of just, I was lucky to be born in Silicon Valley. I think if I was born anywhere else I would. It’s possible, just harder. I think as a content, especially because you know, your audience a lot of freelancers, I think the best way to distinguish yourself as a freelancer is to put out content and have something to be known for. And so find the areas that you’re interested in. I’m not I haven’t been a content creator, because I was trying to, like, find something to talk about. I was just like, I love marketing. I love business. I love doing these things. And that and I there’s actually now ways to make money from it. So I think one just find the areas that you you’re doing for free like lately, I’ve been drawing, just like doodles, I suck at it. I’m like, really bad. But it’s just kind of been fun. And so I think find the areas where you’re like, Okay, how can I play with this? And then find the things you’re kind of like, I can do this for 10 years.

The second thing that I would say has been substantial. If you’re a freelancer, if you wanna be an entrepreneur, which is a freelancer as well, real estate, which I know you do, it’s just also how do you either attract the right people around you, or you go out and find the right people? So what do I mean by that is like Tim Ferriss, super famous guy ever and loves Tim, I was able to meet him in 2007, before his book came out. And I met Remy and I met the YouTube guys. And so the question is, is no a special and like, I have some super funny people, not really. But I just was trying to be in the places or in the categories like web three is big. Now. How do you put yourself in these places to either meet them or attract them through content creation is a great way to do it, geographically is a great way to do it. building things is a great way to do it. And so that is, you know, in terms of success monetarily, like just from a money, not even just from money, but like from a stimulation perspective. I would say how do you Meet more interesting people regularly.

Alex: I think about that a lot for myself. And I feel like half the time, it’s just saying yes to things. It’s just, you know, when someone asks you to come do something that makes you a little uncomfortable, or someone you’ve never met before, asks you to do this live for them. And you don’t really want to I feel like that’s usually like the moment before you’re almost going to meet someone that’s going to be like added to your circle. You just have to push past that point, and just say, yes. Yeah, I’m trying to think.

Noah: I was like, Who are the people? I said, No to meeting that I could have met. I did have a funny one, actually, like, six months ago, or maybe seven months ago, this guy, I was emailing and it was like, Yeah, descript it’s a pretty popular editing tool. D script calm. I think it turns out, he was the founder of Groupon. Ah, and I was like, Yo, man, that’s cool. You did Groupon, he’s like, I emailed you a few years back when I was starting Groupon, and you ignored me. I was like, oh, like, so it’s hard to know who to call on, especially as you get older, and our lifes are limited. But I think depending relative to your age, you know, you should either go join companies that have a lot of smart people, like I was able to, I was a content creator, figure out if there’s like courses or someone like yourself that like seems like they figured something out and figure out how to be around it. Yeah.

Alex: Now, because a lot of people listening to this, they are very interested in people’s kind of stories from working at a company to working for themselves. They like to know about like, how what did that look like? Was there? Was there like scary moments? Was there financial problems? Did you not know if you were going to be able to do it or not? So I guess, take take everyone back to when you kind of went from working at companies to owning them? In a way?

Noah: Yeah, it’s hard to go back. And I will tell you, so I’m worth millions of dollars, which I guess you can see that online. I’m still scared of money going all the way. Like I like last week, I was like, I’m gonna have to apply for a job soon. And you know, it doesn’t, it’s just everyone’s got their different. I think everyone has their own mental financial hangups based on their, their childhood and their upbringing, and how their parents, you know, were facilitated money right there on money relationship. I think one of the things that I did, it was an advantage, but it was also a, it was a disadvantage was that I was just really frugal for all of my 20s my whole 20s. So like the first two years of college, I live to my mom’s house, which now I guess it’s like, it’s a good thing, everyone does this. But I was at a time room when got apartments and like, I lived to my aunt’s basement for a year. And then I lived on friends couches for a year. And then when I was around 30, I finally got my own place for $500 a month, which I was like, I can’t believe I’m spending this much money, which it sounds kind of silly, but in an only in the past few years have I really been like maybe I should try to enjoy it before I get off this planet. And so I think that that was definitely one of the advantages, right? Because it, it reduced the amount of pressure that I had to have to have any of my businesses make a lot of money. Right. So that that’s part one, what I call it cool, which is keep cost of living low. So whatever you can do to reduce your cost of living gives you freedom to work on things you’re interested in, and they don’t have to make a lot of money for you to be able to do it. To become an owner of the business.

I think there’s a few of the things I did, I found it was unintentional, but my, my day job at Intel was sucked. And I didn’t have to do anything. And so it gave me a lot of time to do two things. One, I did a lot of networking. I got I’m gonna do air quotes, cuz I always feel like networking. I think people think of networking, they think of like, a LinkedIn message, like, Hey, I know we’re connected now. Can I send you a Calendly link? And then you’re going to get on a call with me? And I’m like, does that work? Does that actually like I like go to my LinkedIn when I want to laugh at people when I’m like, oh my god, like, I can’t believe you actually do this. It’s not that LinkedIn has good moments. But I’m just like people like put a little bit more effort in. So I put it I did a lot of networking. I was blogging all the time. There wasn’t Twitter or YouTube at the time. But I was blogging a lot. I put on lunches, I put on conferences, I put on events, and I didn’t have any experience in it. Most of the greatest innovations come from people who are not experts. And people who don’t know that, like, oh, I can’t I can put on a conference. I could buy Airbnb, I could start a podcast. And so that gave me a huge advantage. I met a lot of my network through the that the content creation, through blogging through events. So that was one. Now in terms of actually finally making business and money with that. I think there’s two pieces. One, I think you got to find categories that you’re interested in and that are exploding. And I’ve been very lucky to be a part of some of the biggest tidal waves in tech. Right. So as a part of social networking, I’d have to be even very good. I was just there and it did well. I was part of personal finance meant I was a part of Facebook games. I was the top Facebook game developer as part of payments for games as part of the Groupon kind of revolution as part of SAS. And so I think if you just find these industries, so I can’t I’d say today there’s two gigantic ones content creation, which there’s still a lot of meat on that bone and web three with the whole crypto stuff. So how it actually looks for the person. You don’t have to be the one creating it. You could just be the one talking about it. Like if you look at content creators like Graham, Stephan or Frank finance guy, I don’t know what his name is. They don’t what do they know about stocks and shit, I don’t know nothing. But they’re just talking about all the time, right? And you do it for enough years, and you seem like you’re relatively intelligent about it, and people listen to it. So you don’t have to be the creator. So I think that that’s a key piece of it.

And then ultimately, I was just I kept trying, I like kept going on and stuff. So a lot of my businesses did not work. And if you’re a freelancer, freelancing is awesome. Because you don’t have there’s not you literally can meet all these different people. You can try all these different things out. And then you can finally dial into the areas that you’re like, can I just spend my whole day making YouTube videos or doing editing or doing like, we have a different example on our YouTube channel. We have an editor. I don’t know if he wants his name public, he works at Coinbase. He’s a multi multi millionaire, super rich. And he freelances doing video editing for us? And I was like, dude, aren’t you rich? He’s like, Yeah, but I love video editing. And it’s like, QA. Yeah. And I think the idea that I try to encourage myself to think about and everyone else out there is like, the money and all that stuff is kind of separate and find the thing you just enjoy doing. And then I honestly think the money stuff kind of comes really easily after that, when I’ve put the money first. And I’ve been like, I gotta get this money. And I gotta go to, I don’t know, it’s always kind of been short sighted, it’s gone away faster.

Alex: I say that to everyone constantly. I always say don’t chase the dollar chase your passions, like corny saying for it. But I really feel like money is just like a form of energy in the world that circulates around the planet, around groups, communities, and I think it can be attracted to you based on what energy you are putting out towards it. So I always say to people, if you’re going to start freelancing, if you’re going to quit your job, and you’re you got a new slate, you finally get a chance to do what you actually want to do with your life right now. Go do what you want to do with it. And I promise you, the money will follow. Because that’s the whole point of freelancers, people are hiring you on a perceived notion that you’re an expert at something right. Like they don’t want to employ you, they want you because you freelance write for newspapers, they want you for that. So that might be so nice to you. But the money is going to come because you had like the courage to follow what you want to do.

Noah: There’s never literally my I’m 39 years alive, you know, 20 of them have been working. There’s never a better time to make money or do freelance work all over the world. Like there’s unlimited sites to pay you. And has customers begging, like right now as a as an owner of a business. Like we are desperate for talent. So if you have any talent or you don’t have talent, just go find it. Go Taste the rainbow and find the talent of the areas you want to work in. You can do it anywhere in the world. Like I don’t know a lot. We have one of our best developers in the world is in Adelaide, Australia. I am so cool. Yeah, Damien. He’s done in Australia. I don’t know. It’s just it’s an amazing time. Like, there’s no reason that anyone who wants to do anything, just can’t get started. It’s just like, you have to get off your toes and just do something today. Like, it’s like one of these old guys.

Alex: That word made me laugh. Yeah, no, I I scream about this to everyone. I’m like, you guys. It’s never been easier. Just open the laptop, open the phone and just click, just click just type your name and places like, just do something because I don’t know if it will always be this easy, right? Like things change, you know, often in the world of tech and everything. So right now it’s easy. Is it going to be easy? In five years? I can’t say. Are we all going to be plugged into the metaverse mate, you know, probably.

Noah: Yeah. I mean, I had a friend pitch me today. He’s like, what if we did a YouTube and the audience gets to share in the revenue. Sounds cool, man, go for it. Like, Hey, I’ve had this idea. I want to be a freelancer, I want to do PR, like I met this guy. He does press releases. And he’s on Fiverr and making doing a bunch of press releases. I was like, dude, awesome. Yeah. There’s just like, so much cool things to be doing out here that? I don’t know. Maybe I’m reminding myself that, like, just go find it. Or if you don’t see it out there, create it for yourself.

Alex: Absolutely. Now, as someone who used to work at Facebook, what do you think of the metaverse?

Noah: You know, I was really involved in social networking. And I was, you know, super into it and all these things. I think what’s powerful about it that I think people are missing is that this person is choosing a vision. Like a really big vision. And I remember when I joined Mark was like, Yo, we’re gonna literally take over the fucking world. So I do think with the metaverse, there’s, I think it’s missing a little bit of the why, like, does everyone really want to be in a metaverse? Some people probably right. Like, you can have sex with better looking people you can like be anywhere in the world. You could be an art exhibit, you can do amazing things. I don’t know if people care about that just yet. But I think the fact that he’s at least putting something out there that’s bigger than anyone individually is SmartMove plus it’s kind of distract. It’s taking away from all the I think negative brand association. I think if you ask people like anyone listening, not anyone for everyone listening all the millions of people, most people are like, Yo, fuck Facebook. So people I talk to that are the people I ask. And so it’s interesting that they’re they’re shifting that narrative a bit.

Alex: I think they have to, because I think they’re losing they’re losing the battle to tick tock right now and a lot of ways so I think they have to pivot and position themselves as something completely different from just social networking. I feel like I know so many people who are deleting their Facebook’s and I’m personally I’m bored with Instagram. Instagram was bored me for the last year and a half now like I do not use it as much as I use Tik Tok.

Noah: What let’s let’s like talk future just as your show, but I’m gonna just gotta ask where do you think? What do you think it’ll be in five years if you had a bet on these different stuff? Which YouTube like just all this stuff, you know, like is tic tock going to be around because tic tock didn’t exist 10 years ago, this is the kind of the shit that people are like, what’s your five year plan? I’m like, you know, the iPhone was around 2007. Like, yeah, this shit is gonna we’re gonna have some new adventures. So I guess I’m wondering, I was just trying to think I’m like, is Tik Tok still gonna be a significant if not bigger or smaller in five years? Is it gonna end you know, thinking like YouTube, all these different things, or something we can’t even think of?

Alex: I think anything that facilitates online education is absolutely going to be around five years from now because I think that is going to be the primary way people are being educated. I don’t think many people are going to start going to college anymore. So I think like a YouTube, which is fundamentally like a learning and educating type of social media app, I don’t think we’ll be going anywhere. I think it will be right where it is five years from now. Tik Tok, it’s interesting as Tik Tok has a lot of educating that goes on on it. But I do see it would be pretty easy to replicate that app. I’ve already seen a bunch of new copycat versions of it with like more AR components, you know, put into it that have all the same music, all the same video editing features, so I feel like the concept of tick tock will be around five years from now but I don’t know if Tik Tok itself will be if that makes sense.

Noah: I was just trying to think like, I intentionally don’t use it because I don’t want to get sucked in to the metaverse of Oh. I know I guess what do you like to do when you’re bored? Because I think that’s what Tick Tick Tock seems it serves that but it also probably has, I feel like it does have valuable interesting things that people benefit from.

Alex: I love learning and I have been tipped off to so many like invaluable business tips from tic TOCs I follow like 600 other business people in their own niches a lot of them doing things I don’t know anything about follow a lot of homestead people farming people all these things that I want to learn to cool. So I love going on it because I learn every time and that’s why I love it so much more than Instagram. I don’t feel like I learned on Instagram. I just see someone’s like ass in a bikini on a bow. And I’m like, That looks cool. Like good for them go you know, live it up and stuff, but I’m not learning anything.

Noah: Have you noticed a difference between YouTube shorts and tick tock for you?

Alex: I mean, my TikToks do a lot better than my YouTube shorts. Although I did have one YouTube Shorts kind of viral and the only my only beef with YouTube is it’s predominantly men on there. But there’s no problem with that. But they are like the meanest to me typically under my social media videos. So the comments I get on my YouTube shorts are like the meanest ever compared to TikToks. It’s all these guys that are just so pissed at me. And they’re just very angry. I don’t know why. They’re very angry though. You’re like, I’m not going to touch this one.

Noah: Yeah, I already said the only fans thing. I’m still regretting from earlier.

Alex: Don’t worry about it. You’re You’re fine. What is people always asking us when I come up with tick tock content. What is how do you come up with a new business idea? Like what does that look like for you? Do you have like a little is it like exercising? Is it like sleeping outside on the ground?

Noah: Yeah, we were talking about productivity today. And I was like, I met I had dinner with Peter Thiel, Peter Thiel, like, uses an old ass phone. The dude dresses an old as clothes. And I think sometimes people get so enamored with the tools and tricks when it’s really about the thinking, well, if people really fast with productivity, and I’m like, if you’re so productive if you’re not doing something more interesting. And I guess it’s a little subjective based on what people define interesting. Let me let me take a step back, I’ll share let me just share what we do. What I’m gonna share is how we do it for content. I think that’ll be a little bit more interesting. So you have to work backwards, right? Like if you want to build a business or if you want to build a content, like creation company and you want to be a creator. I think there’s there’s two different ways of looking at it. So specifically, I will say content creation. You have to work backwards from like, what’s my customer? So the viewer on YouTube or tick tock, and kind of like what’s popular or what would what would my customer desire? It’s Same thing in a business, someone’s paying you in a platform. They’re, they’re viewing you.

So to give context, we put out now one to two videos a week on YouTube. We spend anywhere, I don’t know, cumulatively maybe like 10 to 15 hours, just on one idea. And we’re not even that popular. Yeah, but you know, we literally go through, I’m pulling up last week’s list, we go through probably like, hundreds. So it’s kind of like a TV show. So we do. And I’ll take a step back on it. But I just think the thing that people need to be mindful of is, if you’re a content creator, a lot of people like put out a bunch of videos, and I’m like, you’re not getting anything anyone wants to watch. And so we’re spending just like a tremendous amount of time. Like, we have a video coming out this weekend. It’s like, we’re asking NFT experts how they can invest their first $1,000. And then we’re going to do it and give it away. And it’s like, there’s a high likely that’s gonna do really well, given what’s popular right now. Mm hmm. And that’s it. But that’s like one of literally like, hundreds of ideas we’ve gone through to finally get to one. Now taking a step back on that, I was just trying to put an emphasis that if you’re doing a business, or you’re doing content, just put more time into what you’re actually really trying to serve.

I think the two things I would I would try to take a step back and give people ways to think about is, what’s a framework for making consistent decisions. So for content, you’re putting out content all the time, like you are, like I am, you know, for we have a framework, which is just like, is this a video that a non subscriber must click on immediately. So we have the score, we created a scoring sheet. And so we put all these videos and every single things through our scoring sheet, which is just like, what’s the potential of it, how easy it is for us to do? Do we have a thumbnail around and we score all these different attributes, and it kind of just makes a little bit more consistent than when we’re putting out videos, we’re like, Okay, this is gonna bang, because the same amount of work to make a video and you want a higher return for it. Now, on the business side, if you’re just trying to straight make straight money, I get, I think the way that I’ve really always approached it, and we put I put out, like, tons of videos, and just putting that out, but I think there’s two things I’d recommend for people, which is number one, what is the quickest way to get a customer? So if you’re starting a business, let’s say you’re sitting in, like, give me a makeup a bit, let’s make a business now.

Okay, freelancing agency. So the let’s see if I can sell you something like what’s important to you nowadays? Or what do you do? Tick tock, what else do you do?

Alex: Oh, my God, like so many things. But I have a copywriting agency. And is where do you make the majority of your money, my ebooks, online courses in the copywriting agency all split?

Noah: . And so I guess two things I’m thinking about for you specifically, is that is there anything freelancing I could do immediately for you today that you’d be like, I would pay for that right now?

Alex: No, I guess probably cuz I have my eight to 10 people that I kind of have doing everything.

Noah: Okay. And then you have someone so you have someone running ads for you?

Alex: No, we don’t do any ads. I do have someone doing email marketing, or email

Noah: you’re paying them? And then do they, like have flows already set up? Are they sending one email a week? Like, what do they actually do?

Alex: So he goes out, he gets the whole list of leads already has me approved that I give them you know, sample businesses, he gets them, I approve them. And then he does a series of six emails plugged into my Calendly, which my assistant Bri will take. So he’ll send out those emails over the course of two weeks or so. And we’ll have multiple going at a time based on the different type of client we’re targeting.

Noah: So I’m going to try to work as a freelancer for you just let me give it three examples. So number one, how valuable is it for you if I can get you to 100,000 YouTube subscribers?

Alex: Probably quite valuable, since I haven’t figured out how to do it. Yeah, cuz I hate video equipment.

Noah: Okay, so it sounds like if that’s something then why is that? So this? Why is it valuable to you? Because well, no, but like for YouTube, if you were to get to 100,000 subscribers, like what would that do for your business?

Alex: I mean, the YouTube monetization on that would probably be pretty nice. So it would probably be at a point where I would be paying back all the people who are helping me make the YouTubes in the first place. So it would at least be breaking even. But I mean, I have a lot of brands approached me for influencing across my channels. So if I had that one up to 100k, I’d be able to raise my packages like across the board.

Noah: So I don’t want to spend the whole time doing this. But basically what the way I was doing it right here is I’m trying to see where you make your money. So I can either help you make more of it. Right because if you can be close to the money then I can get it. Like you have money, people want to get it. And so I have to figure out where you get it from to be able to help you. So it sounds like from your courses, or your agency. The second thing is that you have to find the things that are actually valuable because a lot of times people want to do freelancing. They’re like, Hey, I’m gonna do this thing. I’m like, I don’t give a fuck about it. Like, I get emails literally, like all the time, like, Hey, can I make a trailer for you? Why, hey, I’m gonna help you tick tock, I literally don’t do any tick tock, well, you can do it. It’s like, Well, I’m not. Well, then yeah, you’re like, and I get it, it could get convinced. But what’s easier to convince? Like, how do you enhance the behavior I’m already doing? So the two things I would I and then third is where do I have some expertise or understanding that you don’t, you have a lot of understanding in freelancing and fiber and all that stuff, yo, kick my fucking ass. But you too, at this point for the amount of money and time that I’ve invested in it, like I can get you to your 100,000 subscribers, because I know how to do it. And so then it’s just seeing if that’s valuable for someone. The second thing, so one would be YouTuber, secondly, email marketing, which our company does somewhere around $50 million a year just from email marketing. So I could go to you and try to pitch that as like, Hey, I know you’re doing email marketing, it seems like I’m guessing you probably don’t do these three things. Here’s why. Here’s how would make you this much money. That seems like something as a freelancer I might be able to do for you.

Alex: that would be yes. Something I would probably hire you for.

Noah: One. Yeah, I pitched the ads thing as well. It’s a little harder because you’re not doing anything with ads. But like, same with AppSumo. I don’t know, we spend like a million dollars a month on ads. And so it’s like, Hey, I understand something you’re not doing it. If you did it, it probably be able to make you 100k A month or something like that.

Alex: Yeah, I stay away from ads, because I don’t know too too much about running them successfully. So I’ve circumvented them by getting my own leads from social media.

Noah: I think that’s excellent. I mean, one approach with freelancing or business in general is like, how do you make it so? So no brainer that you would say? Yes. So like, for example, what if I paid for the ads? What if I actually spent the money for those ads, and you got to approve all the ads? So it wasn’t anything that you weren’t on brand? And then we just split the profit.

I think if you’re just getting going in freelancing, like go on Fiverr and Upwork, and just kind of get going, I think it’s good to practice, right? Think of it as reps. But then really, the big money comes when you find something differentiated. And you could be closer to the money, right? Like when you’re like a commodity, and you’re just some image on Fiverr. That’s great. But I think that’s hard to really scale. It can it’s totally scalable. You can scale freelancing, I think that’s a misnomer. And I’m sure you talked about it. But it’s like, how do you get to the point where it’s like, invaluable? And then really, you can charge whatever rates you want?

Alex: Yeah, I mean, there’s always been a little bit of a challenge in the scaling department with all of it. But I think what I tell people is, if you use your freelancing business and platform to create an almost media character of yourself, that’s what I think could really be more scalable than just having the agency or that’s what I’m attempting to do. Anyway, we’ll see if it proves to be successful. In the end. What is your favorite book that you’re reading right now?

Noah: What am I reading now? I’m reading two good books. Well, this book has been interesting. It’s called good strategy, bad strategy. I like to read books that not everybody else is reading, I felt like if you read the books that I was reading, you like compete equally. So I like that. I also like reading books that I’m just honestly, sometimes these business books all fucking sound the same. It’s like find a customer and do what they want. Listen to them, as I’m reading this one book called free country. And it’s about this got these two guys in in UK, that they started in their underwear in the south of the country. And they wanted to see if they could, for free get to the top of the country on bicycles within three weeks. And so it’s their adventure, like going to people and going to stores and going to Barnes and going to pubs and be like, hey, bloke, we don’t have any money. Can we I have a T shirt or can and then the other thing I like, because a lot of my content on YouTube lately has been more like that, which is like real life at business adventures. And it’s uncomfortable, but it’s interesting. And that one of the things they do in the book that I really like is they they don’t just give me free free stuff. They’re like, can we clean up your garbage? Can we wash your dishes? Can we put things away it wasn’t just like handouts, but it’s also there’s you know, a lot of nice generosity and I find it very inspiring.

Alex: I’m kind of the same way I have a book I’m really excited coming tomorrow called How to not die.

All right, as we wrap this up what is one thing about you that nobody What’s something people don’t know about you? Based on all your digital footprint the last 20 years all this stuff people could go find out about you online. What can’t they go find out?

Noah: Probably about my insecurities. Oh, I think a lot of that. I mean, it would Oh my bank account. They could probably find my bank account. They just go to Bank of America. I don’t I fucking hate Bank of America. Me too. I I fucking hate bank. They’re like literally like such garbage. I hate them. You probably Just different insecurities around different things. And it’s not all the time. Right? Like, I think it’s it’s interesting human. I definitely know people like you’re so you’re successful or you’re like you’re so perseverant. And there’s a lot of times I’m like, Oh, I really want to give up today. And there’s a lot of times I’m like, am I gonna be alone or other? You know, the voices aren’t always there. There’s some days where? Yeah, some days it’s there some days it’s not. I think that’s very human. And yeah, that’s, it’s, I think people think at different levels, or as you get older, you understand it a little better, hopefully. But yeah, that’s it. Yeah, that stuff is one I think it’s helped. It’s helped me become successful in our world and our society. But that stuff also still lingers.

Alex: I mean, that was deep. That was, I mean, I feel like the first step with all of it, it’s just having an awareness of it to begin with.

Noah: It was just interest. Yeah, it was like an in therapy on Wednesday. And it was just, I think I find I get a little restless with the with the mundane, or when, like routines. And so it’s also trying to experience different ways of living, like go through a lot of mundane stuff, and like the same weeks and then also mix it up a bit, I think we talked about in the beginning is just also noticing listening to yourself. Like as you’re going through the weeks, you’re like, I need to be in Austin. But is it like is it really Austin? Or is it just you don’t like something that’s actually going on in Florida? Or is there another place that’s actually calling and I think more just dial into that shit makes you very powerful.

Alex: I agree. I agree. So what is next for you? What’s what’s on deck for 2022? What’s what’s happening?

Noah: You know, I think sometimes with goal setting, I’ll tell you the past I’ve goal setting and I have all my productivity systems, all this crap, that works for me. And I think a lot of times goal setting people go straight, and then they’re like, alright, well now I need to choose new goals. And in the past two years, a lot of what I’ve worked on goal setting wise is how do you continue the goals that that are already working for you? And so I’m continuing a lot of the things that have already worked in this year. So as much as I don’t like the mundane, I’m like, well, it’s also working. So it’s continuing evolving. AppSumo you know, helping more people promote software tools, people freelancers buying tools, continuing our YouTube channel, I think our YouTube channel what’s next is doing more live stuff. So we’re gonna do I did this thing where I knocked on people’s doors, and ask them how they made money. That was fucking weird, but it did it went viral that, I will tell you though, the ones who are the ones you see on Tik Tok are lies 100% Like I did it to strangers houses, and it’s fucking no one tells you shit. Yeah, the ones that they’re like, Hey, Jim. So I would say just doing more live stuff. I’ve noticed that the audit is harder, but their reaction is bigger. And I do, I don’t say I get a lot of joy out of it. It’s like a workout. I enjoy doing it. But afterwards, I’m like, Oh, that was good. And then I you know, I have my own personal stuff I’m interested in, I try to create basically the way I do my stuff look forward to as I create categories of what I want to do in the year. So I have a few travel plans. I want to fly. So I haven’t got I got a license. I’m basically just planning different things. I want to go head up. You want to fly an airplane. I got my pilot’s license. So there’s just different things. So let me pull back over here one sec.

Alex: Okay, there we go. Perfect. Where can people find you online and do business with you?

Noah: Absolutely calm if they’re looking to for any tools or if they want to sell tools if you’re a lot of freelancers are selling products on marketplace for entrepreneurs so AppSumo calm for me personally on YouTube no Kagan if they’re interested this podcast I have a podcast that similar stuff basically helping underdogs. My content is not as much about freelancing. I’ve had a lot of success with like SAS software ecommerce content creation and I do have a newsletter at send

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