158: How Noah Kagan Grew Sumo.com To An 8 Figure Company

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158: How Noah Kagan Grew Sumo.com To An 8 Figure Company

Today, I’m really happy to have Noah Kagan back on the show. Now Noah was actually one of my very first guests way back in episode 7 and he took a chance on coming on a podcast that hadn’t even launched yet.

Anyway since we last spoke, Noah has gone on to create an 8 figure company in the span of 3 years in Sumo.com and today we’re going to find out exactly how he did it. Noah also started a podcast called “Noah Kagan Presents” which you can all check out by clicking here

What You’ll Learn

  • How Noah decides on his yearly goals for his company
  • The intricacies of having a freemium model with your SAAS business
  • Noah’s philosophy on paid advertising
  • What’s worked well for Sumo.com and what hasn’t worked so well
  • Random Actionable Noah-isms

Other Resources And Books


Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.

Privy.com – Privy is my tool of choice when it comes to gathering email subscribers for my ecommerce store. They offer easy to use email capture, exit intent, and website targeting tools that turn more visitors into email subscribers and buyers. With both free and paid versions, Privy fits into any budget. Click here and get 15% OFF towards your account.

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SellersSummit.com – The ultimate ecommerce learning conference! Unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high level BS, the Sellers Summit is a curriculum based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an ecommerce business. Click here and get your ticket now before it sells out.
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Steve: You are listening to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast, the place where I bring on successful bootstrapped business owners and delve deeply into what strategies are working and what strategies are not with their businesses. Today I’m thrilled to have your boy Noah Kagan aka rhino, aka rabbi [inaudible 00:00:14], aka DJ PB back on the show.

Noah was actually guest number seven on my podcast way back in the day. The guy took a chance on me when I didn’t have an audience at all and I thank him for that. And now he’s actually started his own podcast called Noah Kagan Presents which I highly recommend that you check out. Normally I listen to all my podcasts at 2X speed, but with Noah’s podcast I listen to every single episode straight through from start to finish at 1X speed.

Anyway today Noah and I are going to be talking about sumo.com, and how he took his business to eight figures.
But before we begin I want to give a quick shout out to Klaviyo who is a sponsor of the show. Now I’m super excited to talk about Klaviyo because they are my email marketing provider of choice that I personally use for my ecommerce store, and I depend on Klaviyo for over 20% of my revenues. Now you’re probably wondering why Klaviyo and not another provider. Well Klaviyo is the email platform out there that is specifically built for ecommerce stores, and here’s why it’s so powerful.

Klaviyo can track every single customer who has shopped in your store and exactly what they purchased which makes it extremely powerful. So let’s say I want to send an email to everyone who purchased a red handkerchief in the last week, easy. Let’s say I want to set up a special autoresponder sequence to my customers depending on what they purchased, it’s a piece of cake, and there is full revenue tracking on every single email.

Now Klaviyo is the most powerful email platform that I’ve ever used and you could try them for free at mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.

I also want to give a quick shout out to Privy who is a sponsor of the show. Now what’s cool is that I also use and rely on Privy for both my blog and my online store. Now what does Privy do? Privy is an email list growth platform, and they actually manage all of my email capture forms, and in fact I use Privy hand in hand with Klaviyo.

Now there is a bunch of companies out there that will manage your email capture forms, but here is why I like and chose Privy. Privy is easily the most powerful platform that I’ve ever used, and you can trigger sign up forms based on any primer that you desire. So let’s say you offer free shipping for orders over 100 bucks, well you can tell Privy to flash a popup when the customer has $90 in their shopping cart to urge them to insert one more item.

Here’s another cool use case, if someone has item A in their shopping cart, I can easily tell Privy to display a coupon code for that item or display a related item or offer. In terms of email capture, I’m showing a different email lead magnet depending on what product a customer is browsing in our shop.

So bottom line Privy allows me to turn visitors into email subs, which I then feed to Klaviyo to close the sale. So head on over to Privy.com/steve and try it for free, and if you decide you need the more advanced features, use coupon code MWQHJ for 15% off, once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve. Now on to the show.

Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.

Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, today I’m really happy to have Noah Kagan back on the show. Now Noah was actually one of my very first guests way back in episode seven, and he actually took a chance on coming on a podcast that had not even launched yet, and in fact back then we didn’t even know each other at all and I actually conned him to coming on by telling him it was an Asian dating podcast.

Now what’s hilarious about all this is that I told my podcast editor that Noah was coming back on, and she was terrified because the last time I had her edit out all of his F bums and they were a lot of them. Anyway most of you probably know his background already and if you don’t, go check out episode 7 of my podcast.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time going through his background, but last time we talked about his company AppSumo, and today we’re going to talk about sumo.com, and how he’s grown it into an eight figure business. I’m glad to have you on the show man, how are you doing today?

Noah: Better, better, I woke up feeling pretty lousy, I went to therapy and felt lousier, had a great lunch, felt inspired, went to the gym and now I’m on it dude, I’m with you Chou.

Steve: Are you still go on therapy, I thought you stopped that.

Noah: You know a lot of the things that we do that get us successful, you have to keep doing, and I think that’s part of the hard part is that I was reading about it this morning it was really interesting. It was like we get to this level of arrogance or assumption that we think we know everything, and then I don’t need to do this basic stuff anymore. I try to just keep myself in check and so I reflected in the past like therapy was helpful for me so I go every other week.

It’s funny because I think therapy just has a bad phrase to it, it’s more of like a mind coach, it’s my mind coach and I go there and I do all my Jewish complaining, and the guy is like that will be like 125 and then here’s your [inaudible 00:05:10].

Steve: Speaking of therapy I actually had a question for you like I remember a while ago when we were talking about Sumo, you grew it to like 20 something people, right? And you went to India and then you came back and you fired everyone, went back to basics and made it a small quadruple of people again, and now you got like what, 30 people at Sumo group, is that right?

Noah: There is around 43 of us.

Steve: Yeah 43, okay so what’s different this time? Like you grew up Sumo and then you fired everyone, why are you growing Sumo Group?

Noah: Do you think that if I told the team I was going to India again like everyone would be [inaudible 00:05:41]. Like hey guys next week I’m going to India, heads up. No I love everyone at Sumo, what’s different or what are you trying to understand?

Steve: Oh no in AppSumo you brought it back to under a quarter group of people.

Noah: Oh yeah.

Steve: So now you’re trying to grow another company, large it seems, right?

Noah: Yeah, it takes the same amount of effort and this is up here [inaudible 00:06:05] thing he told me. It’s like it takes the same amount of effort to do something small as it does to do something big, like literally the same amount of effort like you’re going to work eight hours a day you might as well try to do something bigger. A lot of the times I think decisions of mine should be like what makes a more interesting story like over the boarder choice, what makes a more interesting story?

So if you’re choosing things you’re like well there’s something kind of really big, I think that would be more interesting for my life and I can look back and have a great story for myself not just for other people. So company wise I think what – I actually had this amazing thought, I thought — that sounds so strange, it sounds so [inaudible 00:06:40], all this is an amazing thought. I had a very interesting thought for myself, it was like what if you couldn’t have a legacy and then how would you behave?

Meaning what if your kids are going to die right after you so you couldn’t have kids as your legacy, or like everything you do gets erased 50 years after you die. So the idea, it’s like oh I’ve got to do this stuff so I’m remembered which I think is what we’re all trying to aim for, that is like not important anymore, and like I wonder how that will change a lot of our behavior?

Steve: That’s a great question, you’ve already got money, right, so what does growing a larger company do for you?

Noah: Well the larger company it’s not time to grow a larger company just for a large company, I think a lot of people could just go hire a bunch of like low wage people then you could have – anyone can hire 20 people off Craig’s list and have a 20% company today. So I’m always kind of cautious when people want to brag about their company.

When I share myself I never try to brag about it, I’m just trying to share like here’s advice of things I’ve learned through my experience, a lot of it is for me to reflect on, it’s like my own therapy. What I’ve done through – or would I say like in terms of our evolution of the business at Sumo Group like appsumo.com or our coupon for gigs and sumo.com, our free marketing tools, it’s more of like creating what you want and then putting yourself in the right place.

So more specifically I call it finding your sweet spot, so finding the thing that you just love doing on this earth and that you’re really interested in and then really sticking around that and growing around that, and then really complementing yourself in your weaknesses and things that you’re less interested.

So specifically with sumo.com which is our free marketing tool software, helps people grow their email list, like I’m really good at starting things, I’m really good at marketing things and I really love that part. I don’t particularly like any meetings at least at this point of my life, maybe when I’m 40 I’ll be, oh yeah it’s like meeting day, I’ll say the F word fun, I know that’s what you’re saying I said in the last episode, but yeah it’s I don’t enjoy that, I don’t enjoy a lot of long term super big planning, it’s just not what I want.

I think I felt guilty about that for a long time and that was like, oh I’m weak at it let me get better. I’ve come to the conclusion in the past – more recent that I was like just go embrace the things you’re great at and improve on those, and then find people who love to do the things that you don’t. So find someone who loves to do recruiting and find someone who loves to do development or loves to do sales and then you go and focus on what you really love doing.

Obviously if you have a family and bills don’t just like quit and leave everything, oh no he said I’ve got to love this and I love you, but go and reflect in the past six months what have you worked that wasn’t work, what have you done in the past six months that you woke up early for, what in the past six months have you been excited to share with others?

And then that’s what really what we’ve done with Sumo where Ayman is amazing, he’s running appsumo.com our group on for gigs and he’s growing it to a larger size because he’s excited about it and there’s a lot of products to promote on AppSumo, and then shared my business partner with my best friends who was our CTO, he is running sumo.com, he has a bigger vision that I do for it.

The idea that I stepped out and I’m more of an advisor, I’m still involved, I’m still helpful, I’m not like 4 hour work week like not do shit. I don’t really respect that in the other people, it’s more of like I’m involved, I actually think distancing myself has actually helped me and helped the business. So specifically if you have ever gotten advice from someone that you’re like, man the advice was really good, why didn’t I give it to myself, have you ever had that happen?

Steve: Where I’ve given out advice that I should follow myself, is that what you’re talking about?

Noah: Yeah someone gives you advice; you’re like dude I feel like I tell other people that advice.

Steve: Yeah, yeah it’s happened to me before.

Noah: Yeah that happens, you’re Steve Chou so like it never happens; you have perfect advice just like your SATs. I mean you’re the perfect Asian child, I wish if I could have a perfect Jewish child that was like you, but Jewish that would be cool.

Steve: Stop, stop it, stop it right now.

Noah: No so in terms of that like I think the fact – like for anyone here who has a company even if you have a small company like you’re making 1000 a month which is amazing, it all starts somewhere, or you have a larger company, I think if you can take and step outside of your company and just give yourself advice in a more unemotional way I think that’s a very easy strategy to create a larger company.

And so for me I’ve stepped out of more the functions that I don’t really enjoy like recruiting I don’t enjoy, doing certain types of marketing I don’t enjoy, and then putting myself in terms of like doing podcast interviews or creating content in certain topics or experimenting with new marketing channels, that’s where I’ve gotten lot of my fulfillment, and so you’ve got to put yourself in that place.

I literally have this quote repeating on my to dos and I see it every day pop up and I’m really resonating with it which is, it’s always your responsibility. So for all this different stuff and creating the company you want and creating the life you want and creating the relationships you want it is your responsibility and I’m not saying you Steve, I’m saying like you, me and the 15,000 people who have this open to their ear lobes.

Steve: You know I remember back actually when you first started – it was SumoMe back then before you spent a ridiculous amount of money on a domain, by the way how is that going?

Noah: The domain?

Steve: Yeah.

Noah: You know I don’t know about you Steve, but I am so freaking, can I say that word freaking is not…

Steve: Yeah freaking is good, freaking is good.

Noah: Freaking happy about it and you know it’s so weird I literally just bought these boots that were like $100 and I’m like yeah the boots are okay, and then I got like – I’m looking over my thing, I got – what else did I get – I got this like coffee table for $300 and I’m like it’s okay, but I bought a $14 belt and I’m like unbelievably happy about this belt, and I’m just it’s not about the money, it’s just about buying and getting things you actually really want and going after them.

The domain is just something I’m so happy with. I know you’ve told me sort of your wife and you’re like you know you went after it and you got it, and obviously I want to go do that in a safe environment. My suggestion though is like with the domain it sounds like a lot of money but number one we structured it over a five year payment plan, so we paid half upfront and the rest over five years, so it’s only actually a few percent of our revenue each month if you break it down that way.

Steve: Well thinking about that way it’s like an expense I guess.

Noah: Yeah it’s literally an expense that’s umber one and number two I’m just so proud of it, like I called someone on the phone last week and I was like no it’s sumo.com and it wasn’t like, oh how do you spell that, because before it was sumome.com, they are like it’s sumo, some of me. And so yeah there’s more to that, it’s a story of persistence.

Like I think in general people need to think about what do they really want and pick things that you like, you’re willing to say like go seven to ten years afterward and I think a lot of that is fun, it’s really damn rewarding when you finally get that.

Steve: I remember you correcting me this morning when I texted you, I think I used SumoMe and you then you said Sumo, its Sumo man.

Noah: I mean $750,000 a word a letter, so yeah I paid a lot for two letters. You know one thing I heard this morning about getting things you want, I was talking to the in a hundred contacts funder Jonathan Koon who runs Wikibuy, it’s a cool chrome extension. He’s insanely impressive, he had this belief and I have to share it because so damn good. He said if you want anything in life I will give you the secret of success, and I was like you’re going to just give it to me, how much?

He’s like it’s free and I was like okay so I put on my seat belt, I was like yeah tell me Jonathan I want to know. He’s like all right, work on anything 80 hours a week for 20 years, and I was like you’re serious, he’s like that’s not even – there’s 168 hours in a week, this is less than half of your week working, but I promise you if you pick anything and you do it for 20 years and you work 80 hours a week on that, you will get the success you want. And I just thought that was kind of an interesting thing.

Steve: I had that philosophy for myself except not the 80 hours part, but like when I start something I plan on doing it forever.

Noah: How do you keep interested in it, so like I’m doing my podcast and I’m still loving it and I’m still interested in it, but like you look at turtles, so how does the turtle like – like how do you keep going with that?

Steve: So I just put it in my schedule and it’s done, so my class I’ve been running since 2011 and every single week I do a webinar for my class and I’ve been doing that for six years now straight. Same with the blog, I started that in 2009, I write one post a week, and I’ve been doing that for eight years now.

Noah: Okay, so you’re simplifying it too much, you’re like I put in the calendar and it just magically comes out like oh like your cousins in China just write it for you or something which is probably not – maybe that’s how you do it, you have like a billion people over there to hook up.

Steve: This you again on my case for this before this interview started right? Okay so go on let it out.

Noah: No, no, no I’m actually just really curious, so how do you actually keep yourself interested, is it just like you’ve built a habit muscle like your discipline habit on like sticking with something is just so strong and like you’ve just worked on that? How do you keep doing it weekly for so long on that and I think that’s impressive, I think that’s – and I do, do that with certain things but not others and I’m trying to learn and improve on that.

Steve: Yeah I mean – so each time how do I come up with content or?

Noah: No I don’t care about how you come up with it, like how do you keep yourself interested so that you can keep doing these webinars every week for the past 500 years.

Steve: I don’t know, there’s just my personality, it’s just like lifting weights. I’ve lifted at least once a week not missing any workouts since I was sophomore in high school maybe or junior in high school, so it’s just my personality, like I pick something and I just say I’m going to do it forever and I rarely drop anything like I’ll pivot, but I’ll rarely drop anything outright.

Noah: Okay so number one, you make it sound too easy but I think you actually had some – you do dude really like you do, you’re like yeah it’s just me, it’s like okay so – I guess what I’m trying to think about for everyone else and myself is that what is it really, and I think maybe it’s a key you’ve promised yourself that you’re going to do it every week and then that like commitment to something helps you stay with it?

Steve: Yeah I’m committed to it.

Noah: Do you have like an end date with that, or is it no I just like hey every week I just do this, this is like I build the habit?

Steve: I don’t have any end date for any of my stuff.

Noah: That’s actually a really interesting point; you’re just like hey I’m really excited about this or interested in this, so it’s not about an end date, this is like a continuous state like when there is no end date?

Steve: There is no end date, in fact I never even plan on selling stuff, like someone told me once that you should go on to every company with the intention of selling it at some point. I don’t have that philosophy, I mean it might happen but I don’t go into anything with the idea of selling it. Like my blog, my face is on there, I don’t think I’m ever going to sell it.

Noah: What’s the last thing you stopped and why?

Steve: What’s the last thing I stopped?

Noah: See I think you’d be great for a wife like to get married to because you know you’re not going to quit on them. I’m sure Jen is like he’s never leaving.

Steve: I don’t know man, maybe this is like…

Noah: No, no dig deep.

Steve: I don’t know, I don’t know if the listeners want to hear about me man, they are here to hear about you, let’s revisit it at the end maybe, is that cool?

Noah: Oh I like how you do it Steven. Whatever you want to do Steve, it’s your show.

Steve: All right, let’s talk about Sumo, the beginning.

Noah: Dot com.

Steve: Sumo.com, sorry. Early days like I remember when we were in Fincon and we were taking a walk, you told me you started SumoMe back then, it’s not sumo.com and you asked me to install SumoMe like 20 times in a single conversation which I eventually complied. But I want to know what your game plan was in the early days to build it up to what it was today, and – see at the time you already had a big audience and a following.

So I want you talk about it from the perspective of not having any of that stuff, and I know you talk about focusing on a single goal a lot; I’ve listened to a bunch of your stuff.

Noah: Yes Steven.

Steve: I do, I follow you man. So how did you design your goals from year to year for SumoMe – Sumo.com?

Noah: So let me just preface this because I think a lot of people were like Noah has AppSumo which is a large mailing list and OkDork.com my personal blog which you should all go subscribe to. Just because you have a large list doesn’t mean they’re going to do what you say and hopefully they do, hopefully they make their decisions and – but hopefully they also trust you and do what you recommend.

So many times in my career I’ve noticed that we’re like, hey we built this, go buy this, and people are like, no not interested. So I think people have to be aware like just having a large mailing list is no point, it’s about the quality of it and then doing things that people actually want. So when we started Sumo our original hypothesis was we would build and app store for the web. There was like the WordPress plug in directory and there is all these other directories like you have Shopify store but what about for every website.

We built that and we kind of literally just built a bunch of random apps, and we used it on our own website like we built this highlighter one, twilighter is what we called it where you could highlight text and then tweet it on your blog. I think the two interesting things that happened in the beginning of it where number one how do you prioritize your work, because everyone has the same amount of time but how prioritize the work so you get the most leverage for your work, and
I’ll say it again, how do you prioritize your work so you get the most leverage?

Let’s say you have a list of ten things, you can get them all done but if you get the first one thing done before another, how much more leverage and growth can you get out of that before you get to number ten? I think that’s where a lot of people miss, so as we did our first step like how can we better prioritize the different apps we’re building.

So we went and looked at different directories and different SaaS products that were paid and cost money and we figured out which ones are the most popular and that’s how we prioritized the different apps we made.

Steve: Okay.

Noah: So that was a really interesting concept just working backwards from like what’s popular, how do we just…

Steve: What was that app, was that the list builder?

Noah: Yeah, list builder the pop up was really popular and then share buttons. It was like we just kind of like those are really popular on other competitors and people were paying for them, I’ll just make it free. And then the second thing…

Steve: Can we talk about that real quick, why just make it free right off the bat, like the other services were paid if I recalled at the time, right?

Noah: Yeah, if I had to do it all over again I’d probably do paid.

Steve: Okay, why?

Noah: Because it tells the truth. I love the freemium model, so I don’t think I would leave the freemium model specifically, I don’t think I would leave that, but what happened is that after the first year and a half we were like man we have all these people using it. Our yearly goal for the first year was to get a billion people, unique people to see a site that had Sumo installed, that was our goal.

Then at the end of the year we were like let’s just see if these sites will pay any money, and then we went to these sites we were like do you want to pay maybe for something and a majority – maybe we didn’t have something great to offer but the majority of them were like nope. I was like we should have just tried to figure that out right away.

Steve: What percentage?

Noah: I mean it’s standard kind of SaaS software percentage which is like somewhere between like 3 and 5% and that’s an impressive number for a freemium SaaS business.

Steve: Okay, actually how much were you charging for that first – the first time you were charging people?

Noah: I’m going to share a story from like MailChimp. If you read MailChimp – I got so excited about MailChimp, my bonner [ph] popped over the microphone.

Steve: I’m going to have to edit that out I’m sorry my friend. Okay go on.

Noah: My junos [ph] knocked over that microphone, I can’t say that either. I knocked over my microphone. So MailChimp put out this blog post that kind of stuck with me that they changed their pricing seven times in like two years or some surprisingly amount of number of times. This is kind of the same thing with our business and I think with every business, and I’m not trying to encourage you, I hate when people do this.

Here’s a great way to grow your business, raise your prices. I feel like that’s like the most generic ass business advice I’ve ever heard and I hate when people say that, but I do have to think people to realize that pricing is a very powerful tool to decide who your customers are and decide how much value you’re creating for those customers. So what we realized is that recurring revenue is a lot better way to grow our company because it’s more predictable and consistent.

It doesn’t grow as fast but it definitely helps and also to make something that people want to subscribe to, like software as a service is a service that you’re giving as a software which I think people miss, but we actually started out just selling like templates for our pop up design. So we had this list builder in sumo.com that you can collect emails and then we sold the templates and it was one off, they are $5 each, and we wanted to do it to see if people would pay and much less people paid than we thought.

Then we charged like $5 to remove the branding and no one paid for that and I thought everyone would pay to get the branding removed.

Steve: Interesting okay.

Noah: So it was super interesting, I was like oh of course you don’t want to see powered by.

Steve: I just had – I interviewed Nathan Latka, I’m pretty sure you know who he is and he said when he branded his stuff, that’s how he got the majority of his traffic, was that the case for you guys too?

Noah: One more time?

Steve: When he added a link to his company Heyo I think it was at the time, he got the majority of his new customer acquisitions through that link.

Noah: Yeah so that part was great, but people actually paying to remove it, no one really cares. I think people are just kind of used to it by now.

Steve: Interesting okay.

Noah: And then so we’ve changed our pricing probably about seven times in the past two years, so what you have to do with pricing is try to – here is the simplest way, this is like the really easiest way to think about it. You should feel that people are stealing from you, like that is the easiest way to figure out your pricing and you are like what do you mean?

The price should be so good you’re like, oh my god these guys are going to go out of business, I can’t believe it’s so affordable. That is the way I love to do pricing like I’m sure we can come up with formulas and stuff, but we basically keep looking at the business and we’re like – so for example we used to sell the templates and we were like there’s got to be other advanced things, so we built advanced things for other tools in Sumo because Sumo is this app store for marketing app store for your website so you need a great website.

And so we had each of the tools had a pro version and then we were like we should make it recurring so it’s better for us and it’s easier instead of charging people for each time we have a new update. And so each app was $20 and it was like if you wanted all the apps it’s like $200 which seemed kind of expensive for all the apps, so we were like what if we had a bundle because that seems a lot fair for everyone and that’s what we would want.

So we were like well all right you can add an extra $100 or you can buy them individually. And then we thought about it and we were like there is small sites and large sites, some sites can afford a lot, some can’t afford a lot at all. So then we were like what if we just made it one price for small guys and one price for big guys, and so then we did that.

And then we realized like wow, people really want to pay for certain things and not other things, so we actually just went and looked in being like we looked in our data and said, what is everyone paying for like when they hit buy what feature are they looking at or what feature are they coming from? And so we left that paid and everything else that they are not using we just made free.

I can promise you in the next year we’ll make other changes that we think just make the product so effective that is great. I think one suggestion for almost any product out there, anybody who’s got ecommerce or anyone who’s got a SaaS business or info business whatever it is like get the people engaged first, get them kind of like I don’t want to use a drug analogy, but basically get them addicted to what you make, get them getting the value.

Steve: I like get them pregnant.

Noah: Oh god man you took it to the next level which I like, but yeah you want to get them kind of hooked on your service and like putting up barriers or like not letting them invite people. So you want to get them engaged and you want to get them to be able to bring people with them to your product. The more I think you can do those things and have it at a price that they’re like, this is such a good price, I just think well you’ll have a business that will be successful.

Steve: Does that imply like a freemium model then or no?

Noah: I don’t think freemium one is the only way to go, there is always [inaudible 00:26:30] to a lot of this stuff, I’m just saying like it works because freemium is basically a marketing strategy. If you don’t do freemium that’s fine, it’s just that you have to do employ – use, employ, what the hell does the word stand for?

Steve: Employ.

Noah: Employ yeah I guess employ other marketing strategies. I like the freemium model in general because it’s like a trial before you buy, like before you buy a car you test drive it. So I think the question then is for people who have like ecommerce may be they are gateway drugs, can they have smaller items for people to get experience, is there something like my buddy does it from fitflyshaker.com. He gets people, the first ones free, all they have to do is pay for shipping.

Steve: That’s what we’re doing right now with hankies believe it or not.

Noah: And what have you noticed with that?

Steve: People buy hankie and then they come back and they buy a big set.

Noah: Really?

Steve: A small percentage yeah, believe it or not there’s people out there who collect handkerchiefs and use them all in the house. Our demographic is 55 years of age or older, I discovered that recently through Facebook.

Noah: How did you discover that, you were like upload your email lists?

Steve: Upload the email lists, look at insights, and then just run a bunch of tests.

Noah: What do you mean run a bunch of tests? This is where I want you to be a little more specific.

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Okay so I would take an ad where I just put together a nice video of all the handkerchiefs, and then I create a look alike audience and then I just send that ad out to all the different age demographics and just kind of split test it across them.

The 55 year old people and up, there was like an overwhelming demand for that demographic and then the younger people didn’t care at all.

Noah: So do you sell like the handkerchief right away or do you give it for free and they just pay for shipping.

Steve: Free plus shipping.

Noah: Oh they just pay for the shipping.

Steve: They just pay for the shipping but after they add the free thing to their cart I kind of up sell them with like something that’s like 40% off and see if they’ll buy, and I do that to just kind of pay for the cost of the ad. It ends up that that little extra up-sell more than pays for the ad and then I have them on my email list in the back end.

Noah: That’s cool.

Steve: That’s how I do it; sorry I interrupted you, go on with your story.

Noah: I don’t remember where we were with it.

Steve: You had a friend who did a free plus shipping model for something.
Noah: Oh yeah Dustin yeah and that’s actually – I mean the point is that for ecommerce people figure a way that if it’s like a bigger purchase like how can you get them on the phone, how can you get them like – I think ultimately with a lot of this is like how do you get people to trust you, to believe what you’re saying will be true.

I think with the product there is number one thing is, is it valuable to that person that you’re trying to target, and then do they believe that what you’re actually offering will give them the satisfaction they are hoping for in a physical product or a digital product or even in a meal. And so that’s really what you’re trying to accomplish, so figure out ways that you can build that trust, like I think about it like a coach.

I have a chess coach and I think more people should get coaches, so if you’re trying to learn anything or improve anything go get a coach, and I don’t have a coaching business so I’m not selling you anything. But if you want to improve go find someone who is already better than you and then they’ll teach you.

Steve: You have a ping pong coach right?

Noah: Ping pong coach, chess coach, Hebrew coach, mind coach.

Steve: I had to say this on the air, Nevel said that he beat you on ping pong, he doesn’t have a coach.

Noah: Oh my god, he like one time it’s like he beat me once and then it’s like I’ll put it on his tombstone I bet.

Steve: All right sorry so let us go back. So I’m curious myself like how did you come up with that goal of one billion people for that first year, like what was the reason for that?

Noah: I think that was incorrect if I had to look back on it. One is like similar goals because I think it unites the company. The thing that I would probably do is have a goal that doesn’t end within a short period of time, like right now we have a five year 2020 goal and I think that kind of helps continue, so at the end of the year — because what happens is we hit our goal like let’s say November, we‘re like what do we do now because we have another month before the next year, do we just like show. No we already know where we’re going in 2020 like keep working towards the longer term goal.

The goal like how do you choose a goal. The way I like to think of it is specifically is like it should be realistically impossible, so what that means is it’s realistic and there is a chance you can do it and it’s impossible, you’re like I may not be able to hit it. So for instance my podcast Noah Kagan Presents, so if they are going to listen in they want to hear more of me, they go check that out. If they like me, they don’t then they should probably listen and they can hate me more but Noah Kagan Presents.

So my goal is 100,000 downloads in episodes. I think putting it out there and having a similar goal helps you prioritize your decisions, so I wonder if I market Facebook and it makes things easier. Like I was working on OkDork.com my blog and I was like, well we need to make a change and I was like which change will help the podcast grow more, it’s like this one, it’s like let’s do more of those.

Steve: What was that change?

Noah: The change was our autoresponder series. It was like do we put a link to YouTube in it, to YouTube videos I’m working on or to the podcast, and I was like what’s the goal, podcast, easy.

Steve: What are you linking to on your podcast, are you linking to the iTunes page or another page that instructs people how to subscribe?

Noah: I’ve listened to the instructions page but I don’t know if that’s really well optimized.

Steve: Okay and are you…

Noah: How do you recommend?

Steve: I’m just curious, are you diverting them, do you just care about iTunes subscribers or do you care about the other ones too?

Noah: I think if everything goes through Libsyn it’s overall.

Steve: Right yeah that’s true.

Noah: Okay the similar goal – and I think the similar goal just like we have a dashboard that you see literally every single day, everyone knows our goal in the company, it just kind of unifies the company. Then there is obviously like key performance indicators or [inaudible 00:33:06] or whatever acronym somebody wants to use that each team is responsible for to help hit that goal. But I just think it unifies people, so I’d say in terms of like how we chose that goal, it was like realistically impossible, so it should be something you should probably do within some set period of time.

And then I would say if immediately you know it’s not even going to be close, change it. So for example our second year we were like let’s try to make $10 million in our first year of charging for things and literally in our first month we made like 50,000. I was like there is no way impossible we were going to make 10 million, like that is just not – it’s never been done which doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but that just seems like way too – that’s like unrealistically impossible.
And so then we shift our goal to a million dollars because like…

Steve: Sorry I want to hear the details on this, so you hit 50,000 in the first month, then how did you…

Noah: Honestly it might have been lower than that, like let me go; I’ll look it up as we’re talking.

Steve: Okay so how did you pivot from there, like what were you doing wrong, what changes did you make?

Noah: Yeah so I think the two things there was — there was two separate things. It’s like one is the product off which is yes and then there was the goal off which was yes. Right so here I’m looking it up, bad all time. I’ll look at our first month, our first month – oh my god it was $17,000 of revenue, so twenty times twelve, it was basically we were going to make a quarter of a million dollars by the end of the year which is not good.

Steve: And your goal was 10 million you said?

Noah: Yeah.

Steve: Okay.

Noah: So it was like that’s just never going to happen, it’s very unrealistic, so that’s number one. Then we were like – then we had to go back into the product and figure out okay what the hell do people actually want to pay for, and that’s where we started making a lot of pricing changes, that’s where we started improving, okay which products are people really using and then let’s go improve those more than other things.

I think that’s something that a lot of people miss out on, they are like let’s just do – it’s like marketing, let’s do all the marketing channels. I’m like if you’re going to do one which one would you do, this one. If you had to stop which one would you stop, that one, okay?

Steve: Can I ask you a question, for the ones that people aren’t using that much, like why even bother having it because it takes engineering resources to maintain it, right?

Noah: Yeah so we started hiding them. Okay, that’s kind of what Brain Dean has been talking about and like what I did on my blog, it’s like I removed all my old blog posts that I just didn’t think were quality, same with my YouTube. Because I think of it like a restaurant, it’s kind of my favorite analogy. You go to a restaurant you have shady meals, you’re not coming back to the restaurant no matter how – if you had a dessert that was good but all the other dishes were [inaudible 00:35:34], you’re like no I’ll try another place.

It doesn’t mean that your old dishes that are classics can’t stay there but maybe you need to refresh them or maybe they are just a classic and you keep it. I just think in general focus on what’s working and then you got call, either like kill it, remove it or improve it, the things that aren’t working or people aren’t using.

And lastly I would say for like ecommerce or any business out there if you try to understand what people will pay for just go talk to them which I know people don’t want to hear this because they’re like, oh no I’m trying to do a passive income business where I can avoid real feelings in people. But I’ve noticed that if you try to grow a larger business you have to get your hands dirty and do some of the bitch work sometimes. Like you have to go either survey people, like hey why didn’t you buy this, just tell me.

Like literally if you guys go ask your customers, hey why didn’t you buy this, they’ll tell you, and the people who bought it you’re like, hey what made you want to buy this, they’ll tell you. And then you can just go fix those two things.

Steve: I can support that, I had to answer phone calls on Cyber Monday for my store and I actually discovered a couple of usability issues with my site by just talking to people who couldn’t really surf the web, like these are like we have an older demographic and so they didn’t know how to actually navigate a web browser, so I would never have found that out if I wasn’t answering phones on Cyber Monday.

Noah: What did you change?

Steve: There were some things where like on our cart people would try and remove something on the cart by making the quantity zero whereas I had this big checkbox to remove the item, people weren’t using that checkbox, they were just entering in quantity zero and expecting the item to go away, so something stupid like that.

Noah: Well I think that’s a really important point, so if anyone who’s got ecommerce either A get them on the phone which some people are like no I don’t like phones, or B get on live chat, or C like an easiest one – so two here’s a stupid one we forgot to do and now we’re doing again is like when someone unsubscribes or someone wants to return something just collect that information.

So we collected and we force it like hey please give us information why you’re unsubscribing or why you’re returning it so that you can go and make your business better, and you can do the same thing to people who are buying and I think that’s a great thing.

Steve: Can I ask you how you’ve used that feedback to improve, like give me an example?

Noah: Yeah so a lot of people, so with Sumo and we look at [inaudible 00:37:43] we have a weekly kind of discussion about why are people returning – you can’t really return it but why are people cancelling it, and then we like rank it and we see some of them is unrealistic like they are just small sites where they have no money. You can’t optimize losers and it’s not like we don’t like everyone, we like most of them, it’s just like you can’t help everybody. What is it help everyone; you help no one kind of thing.

The ones that you can actually fix are the ones that you should be considering, so for us it’s like hey I didn’t use it, okay what happened there? So and going and talking to them, so we started offering now like a concierge service, we’ll go help set up Sumo for people.

Steve: Interesting, okay.

Noah: Hey I didn’t get enough value out of it, so I didn’t get enough value because email is just actually not that important to them or they didn’t know how to set it up correctly, and is there a thing we can improve in the product to really solve that like maybe we need to improve our autoresponder, so once they join they can learn how to use it better.

So I think it’s just more of like, okay make a list of all the different things why people are cancelling or returning something, prioritize it like just sort it by most popular and then see which ones are actually solvable and then go and solve them and then you keep doing that, you’ll have a business that will be successful.

Steve: I’m just curious; do you actually go out and call these people?

Noah: They are talked to by the support and success team, so most afternoons we have a support team that kind of does reactive complaints like people that are now coming in to complain and then there is success which kind of proactive support. So you go into new customers and either answer the questions ahead of time or helping them optimize their current business.

Steve: Okay so the purpose is just to learn, it’s not to actually get them back per say?

Noah: You know I think it’s kind like a relationship with a girl or it’s like building a house. You have to have a good foundation and then by the time someone is churning in a business it’s already too late at that point. So you have to actually – it’s kind of like it’s first impressions that people had of me. If people are listening to me right now on your show, by now they like me.

Steve: They do.

Noah: They do, it’s not alien, but I’m trying to make an example. If they hated it they would be like, I’ve heard Noah before, I hate all the stuff he says, I don’t get anything out of it. It’s already too late, by now they are not here, but the people that are here because I have given enough value and ideally things that they can use in their own live, they are like, man what else is he going to say because I want to keep listening.

That’s the same thing with your business, the more that in the beginning you create a good relationship and you maintain it and you keep delivering on it, the less you have to worry about churn. When they are already at the end it’s too late, like you never go a store and you plan to return something, it’s too late, it’s already too late then. The best you can do is not have them walk away, complain to everybody else and then try to learn something so that you can improve for the other customers.

Someone said this to me once for email businesses, because email has been a big thing in my life, don’t optimize the unsubscribe page. I spent like a month on AppSumo optimizing the unsubscribe page and my friend said to me, so you’re optimizing the people who hate you, why don’t just go optimize more of the people who like you. I was like that’s a good point.

Steve: Interesting I didn’t know that – what does it mean to optimize an unsubscribe page, what does that mean?

Noah: Oh put a picture on it, change – have options for frequency, have options for time of the week, have options for which emails they get, put the Twitter button there, Facebook whatever, RSS. But it’s like why are you trying to cater for the people who don’t like you. The only consideration is that they just don’t want an email and they want to get communicated in the other medium, that’s one consideration, but if someone doesn’t like you get them out the door and focus on the winners.

Focus on the people who already do like you and double down and invest more in them instead of being destructive with all the negativity or the hate of the people who don’t, you can’t make everyone like you.

Steve: Once you started earning down your product what strategy did you use to grow, what worked for you in terms of growing the most?

Noah: Well free is a damn good one, I’d say about a third of our customers come from free.

Steve: But you still have to let people know that it’s free right, and so I know you reached out to me, was influencer marketing kind of your main things or what other things did you do?

Noah: Yeah it’s been a little bit, so it’s been three years at Sumo. I would say number one was free, number two – it’s not just influencer marketing, I think people miss this in business Steve where they forget one by one, and a lot of the stuff I say is simple or cliché but frankly that’s a lot of what the answers are.

It’s that just one by one you go to people, so for my podcast literally I found having lunch with someone and this is no joke, I did it a few days ago, hey do you listen to podcasts, yeah, are you listening to my podcast, no. All right get on your phone and subscribe, I’ll wait. I did it to my friend Muddy and he’s like I don’t listen to podcasts, I’m like well you should start, let’s do it today. But I think a lot of us are just, oh I’ll send an email and kind of hope things happen.

So yeah I would say number one was free, number two one by one, so a lot of people if you have a business – let’s say you have an ecommerce business and it’s not growing really fast, go do this, get out a spreadsheet right now and go spreadsheet and then just make a list of 100 friends that you think should buy your product, or make a list of ten friends, this even could be simple that might know someone that will buy your product and literally you do that today, you’ll make more sales, that is a promise.

I don’t think of any other business or any way possible that you can make more sales by just writing a list and then reaching out. Number three you have to understand who target customer is, so who is your exact customer, and where are they? So our customers have email providers like AWeber and MailChimp, whatever, so we went and guest posted partnerships with them. Who’s our customer, people who send emails, where are they, reading the blogs of the service providers, so we went and worked with the service providers.

Steve: What’s their incentive to work with you?

Noah: We’re helping people grow their email list which is how they get more money, so we went to them and we did a lot of guest posts or we do a joint webinar or we give some discounts back in the day, we don’t discount any more, but we’d give offers just for their people, that worked really well. You have to — directories so like what are complementary products, so if you go to like WordPress, people are looking for social share buttons, okay well we should probably be in these directories where people are looking for complimentary tools.

Another tactic we’ve used more recently is cross promotion, so how can you partner with people that are complimentary but not competitive. So for example with Sumo we help people grow their email lists, it’s really a lot of the value we provide so there are other partners like social media like let’s say Buffer or [inaudible 00:43:57] or MeetEdgar or share this image, whatever different providers that are complimentary but not competitive.

And we would be like, hey why don’t we give away your product for free if people buy Sumo, or why don’t we both email our lists recommending each other’s products or like even podcasting. Hey I’ll interview you on my show to your audience and vice versa to your audience, whatever, you get what I’m saying.

Steve: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Noah: It’s as easy as like rap, it’s like music. Have you ever noticed that music, everyone always featured on another person’s album, why is that?

Steve: Yeah just like concerts, there is always someone opening for someone else also, right?

Noah: Exactly, it’s a chance to go and expose someone to a new audience and generally on both ways, so yeah cross promotions are really helpful. I generally discourage people spending money on ads because one it’s easy to lose a lot, and two I don’t spend money on ads until I have something that makes profit. So you can actually try to understand the economics of what the hell you’re doing, I think it’s too easy to kind of prematurely just waste a lot of money.

Steve: Interesting, would that be the case for an ecommerce store as well for you?

Noah: Yeah like if you don’t have any sales don’t start spending it, I think that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, because it’s too easy to blame an ad instead of the actual business. For example I bought Google ads, they went to the landing page, people gave me an email address, I sent out a PayPal thing or I built a Shopify store then, now it’s two months later by the way and now I have a store and then I told these people to go buy and they didn’t do anything.

And I’m like couldn’t you just like called a few people or posted in a Facebook group or gone to your LinkedIn network and found that people didn’t want this right away. No, no I definitely need to Shopify because people couldn’t PayPal me.

Steve: It’s interesting; I grew my ecommerce store based on AdWords way back in the day, so I’m a little surprised.

Noah: Yeah I would say, one you also went to Stanford so you’re intellectually really smart, two it’s kind of getting into Stanford, do you think it’s harder now or before?

Steve: It’s much harder now, yeah for sure.

Noah: Exactly, it’s the same thing with online marketing, you don’t think Google is more expensive and more complicated now, it’s more expensive. So my overall point is that I’m sharing with people the way I get to my destination, I’m not saying it’s the only way.

Steve: Sure, sure, okay.

Noah: I think you can buy a bunch of ads and make it work, but I think you could potentially lose a lot of – you’re more likely to lose on money than other ways you could do it for free, figure it out, and then actually buy ads when it makes sense.

Here’s the problem with it Steve, it’s more fun to buy the ads; it’s more fun and safe and easy and playful to buy ads. You’ll be like, well the ads didn’t work, it’s okay, while you’re just sitting on your ass in your boxers or in your bikini whatever it is that we wear.

But the hard part is going out and finding people who actually want it and then you can go scale the business. I think people put the scale ahead of the business.

Steve: You’re still wearing the underwear that I got you?

Noah: Which one but I wear all your underwear. Which one did you give me?

Steve: I got you the CK one – was it the C — no, no, no it was a Lululemon’s.

Noah: Oh dude I’m actually not wearing it today but for the most part – it’s been interesting with my outfits, it’s kind of like we were talking about with business like do more of what works and less and remove less of what’s not working. I kind of been thinking of the phrase focus on the essentials – no, no it’s not about clothing, it’s about everything, focus on the essentials for everything in life like what are the essential friends that really you love, what is the essential work you really want to do, what’s the essential clothing you really want to wear.

So I literally pretty much have the exact same pair of underwear, so your Lululemons are the only ones I don’t have, but every other pair of my [inaudible 00:47:20] is like very specific type of Saxx underwear, or like right now I’m replacing all my socks with the exact same pair of socks, and my shirts I pretty much just like only wear three types of shirts.

I wear a sumo.com shirt, I wear a Myles shirt which is Myles Apparel, or a pistol like shirt and those are the only three types of shirts I wear. It’s just like makes life simple and it’s like man I don’t wear any of these other clothes, why do I keep it around.

Steve: That’s like the Steve Job’s mindset, right?

Noah: I think it’s actually a bigger concept that people could actually really benefit in all their life like remove decisions from everything except what really matters, like you shouldn’t ever have to think about breakfast, you shouldn’t ever have to think about your clothes, and that frees up – because I do believe we have creativity and will power in a certain allocation of all this of decision juice or decision power. If you’re using it on like stupid crap, then you’re going to basically not have as much for the more important decisions.

I think frankly like for clothing, if you actually took out only the things you really wear like for the month, you’re like I only really wear 20% of it and I keep 80% around for once a year. My belief is just get rid of it and then if you actually need it add it back into your life. So a simple example for anyone listening is like on your our phone, open your phone right now, I’ll do it with you, you can do it with me Steve. Look at your apps on screen two or screen three, which ones are you actually using all time?

Steve: I just did this the other day man; I removed all the stuff that I don’t use.

Noah: Yeah, so like here remove Austin 311 because I don’t really need that, which other ones have I not used in a while, I don’t use zoom on my – I actually do use – I don’t use Plex on my phone, I just delete that. I’m just like removing all the ones – oh 360 cam I don’t use that. Anyway the point being is the way I’ve noticed it is removing things it helps you add things back in, and then you’re like, man these are the things that I really, really love and it just removes the distraction so that my mind is more clear to focus on the things that really matter.

Steve: You do that with friends too?

Noah: I’ve done it with everything, like I had a friend come to town, and I was like I don’t really like getting out with you and so I’m not hanging out with then, we’ll have a lunch next week and I actually don’t mind the guy, I like the guy but I don’t love the guy and I just have other things I want to spend my time on. I think we’re too cheap with our time, meaning that we give out our time way too freely.

The time never comes back and the older you get the more you realize it, and it’s like we’re like oh yeah have lunch, sure I’ll take time to go do these things or yeah I don’t mind. It’s like go pay for things that will save you time, anything you spend your time on, go pay for it if it saves you time. If you can, if you can afford it, go do it.

Secondly if you’re spending time on things like look at your calendar today or tomorrow, look at it one day ahead, is there anything tomorrow that you don’t need to do or you’re not really pumped to do, even if you don’t, if you have to have a job fine, there’s parts of you you’re going to have to give in, but like is there anything else so you can just like I don’t really like that.

Let me give you a crazy example of what happened today Steve. I went to the W Hotel and had lunch with this guy. We literally walked in and I had a table, it’s like we sit at this table, I’m like what do you mean, it’s like we just go to this table, I’m like okay tell me more. He’s like I tip $100 on our meal, I’m like what are you talking about, he’s like I tip $100 on a meal every time and he wasn’t bragging.

He’s like but I just want it to be streamlined, I don’t want to wait, I don’t want to bill, I don’t want to wait for my car. So I come in, the food is basically ordered for me, they know what I like and they bring it to me so everything is streamlined, he removes the friction and that gives him the opportunity to not waste time on things and also spend his mental energy on just with the things he really wants to spend it on.

Steve: Did he order for you also?

Noah: I got the same thing he ordered because he actually he got it really often.

Steve: Okay that’s interesting.

Noah: He does it at the movie theatre too, he actually prepays at the movie theatre so he can just walk in and they text him ahead of time and be like what time are you coming, it’s like here, this time and then they have the food ready when he sits in, as soon as he moves there, so they bring your food in Austin. But anyway I think conceptually it was just an interesting reminder of A, how can you remove friction, B how do you remove non essentials and then C spend energy on the things that really give you excitement.

That’s something I like, I can’t say I’m perfect at it but I can tell you I’m working through it and I’m thinking about it a lot.

Steve: Well let’s talk about it a little because you just decided to a launch a podcast, so what aspect of your life is that fulfilling for you?

Noah: Similar to what you said when we were chatting pre show is like one it gives me a chance to meet people, and two it kind of forces me to create content and be thinking about things on a regular basis. So like today I’m recording an episode about alcohol, I’ve been sober for 55 days which you can’t…

Steve: [crosstalk 00:51:44] town really, I did not know that, oaky.

Noah: You can still be sober without standing like you were an alcoholic and it’s not even about that but I actually think it’s a really interesting topic that I’m trying to have more fun with it and that’s not what we talked about. But I think it’s an interesting topic, it forced me to explore it and I’m grateful for it and so I’m excited to share the story, and the podcast kind of gave me that outlet for it.

Steve: Interesting.

Noah: And I was also kind of as a marketer or something who is curious how things are promoted, I was curious what the medium of podcasting has been like and it’s very different than en email list which is what I spend a lot of my career building and then helping others build.

Steve: Here’s a question that we kind of touched on this before the interview, I should have recorded the before the interview part actually. I just quit my job on October and it looks like you’ve kind of not divorced – maybe divorced isn’t the right word but you have gems working on the different parts of your business now and so we both have free time now. How do you choose to kind of devote your time in terms of fun versus working?

Noah: I think there’s different people with different parts of life so I can’t tell anybody else what to do.

Steve: No I was asking you.

Noah: And even the people at Sumo like I want everyone there doing what they really want to do and I think that’s what it comes down to. I don’t think work should not be fun, I think work should be fun. To keep it simple I think work should be fun, I don’t think it should be this thing that no matter what kind of work like there are people who are nurses that love to be nurse and they should go be a nurse. There are people who love making coffee for people and having tattoos so they should be a barrister and I think that’s where I want to spend my time.

So how I’m likely to spend my time. I really love helping Sumo so wherever it needs help in the business I spend about a day doing that, creating podcasts or videos or blogging, I spend about two days doing that. One day a week I plan nothing, so I’m doing a lot of experiments and challenges with the podcast and Noah Kagan Presents podcast for everyone listening, get it on your phone.

So I did an experiment where is pent like a whole week alone and I spent a whole week with nothing planned and I was like there’s good and bad about it which you can hear in one of the episodes, but what I realized from that was that man I really liked it, it was liberating not to have anyone with me and to be very unplanned for day for that week. So now once a week I have like an unplanned day, there is nothing.

Steve: I hear it works better if you go to India.

Noah: Yes, yes I’m going right to India. No so like yeah one day a week with Sumo, more or less if you look at the time two days a week on like content creation, one day unplanned and one day I’m kind of building side projects that will help Sumo. So like one is a chrome extension that I built, because I’m curious about that and then one is like a recruiting tool because recruiting sacks and try and make it easier for our company.

Steve: Okay hey I know you got an appointment to go to pretty soon so I want to be respectful of your time. Where can people sign up for your podcast and take a look or listen I should say?

Noah: Yeah Noah Kagan Presents just search it the Google store KAGAN or Google or iTunes podcast. It’s also OkDork.com search podcast for I guess if you’re on a desktop, but everyone on the phone just go right now Noah Kagan if you want to hear.

Basically I’ve been on interviews, I’ve been on these really interesting book reports that are like unnormal, and then I’ve been doing kind of like challenges reporting back on that, and then a few case studies where I’ll talk to someone in different types of businesses and then try to relay like one or two action items related to a specific thing like SEO or ecommerce or I had one guy who’s like trying to do freelance video consulting.

Steve: One thing I like about Noah’s podcast a quick plug here is that I never know what to expect, like you don’t have any patterns per say, so every episode is kind of unique in its own way, so I recommend that all you guys go check it out.

Noah: That’s interesting, thanks man. Yeah it’s funny because it’s actually one of the things I struggle with where each week it’s different and it actually causes a lot of mental energy on that, so what we’ve done this week is try to create more of a formula and template where it’s like here’s the types of shows we do and then here’s the order of content we want to do it in, and then line up the podcast and YouTube and blog so that each week it’s like the same thing and it kind of makes it easier for us to operate that.

What’s an interesting thing is old Asian dudes said to me this in breakfast a few days ago maybe it was your uncle, he’s like look around – he said it, I thought it was so powerful, you can do their accent because you’re better than me. But he said, look around and make life easier, and he said this over some — I was literally getting a croissant or something like that, I think a scone and I was like what are you talking about. He’s like look around and make life easier and I thought that was a just a very interesting thing because he was getting a tray and I was trying to carry all the stuff in a plate and he’s like dude just look around and make life easier.

So I think that’s a great word to end the show where it’s like in all aspects of your life, in your friendships, in work, in your health, whatever it is, look around and be like how can I make this better, what are things that I can improve like what’s already working that I like doing or that seems to be working well that I can just work better or make easier, and I thought that was a really good concept to kind of reflect on.

Steve: I think that’s a good way to end this episode man, thanks a lot for coming on.

Noah: Steve Chou every one.

Steve: Take care dude.

Noah: Ah brother, keep it real.

Steve: Right, hope you enjoyed that episode. What I love about Noah is that he’s honest, sincere and always straight up with you, like the guy does not sugar coat anything and he always provides insightful takeaways about his philosophies and his experiences. So go check out his podcast Noah Kagan Presents now. For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode158.

And once again I want to thank privy.com for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I personally use to turn visitors into email subscribers, they offer email capture, exit intent, and site targeting tools to make it supper simple as well. I like Privy because it is so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop ups for any primer that is closely tied to your ecommerce store. So if you want to give it a try it’s free, so head on over to P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve, once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve.

I also want to thank Klaviyo which is my email marketing platform of choice for ecommerce merchants. You can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence, a post purchase flow, a win back campaign, basically all of these sequences that will make you money on auto pilot. So head on over to mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, and once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/ K-L-A-V-I-Y-O for a free trial.

I talk about how I use these tools on my blog, and if you’re interested in starting your own ecommerce store, head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six day mini course. Just type in your email and I’ll send you the course right away via email, thanks for listening.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com.

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