Entrepreneur & Eclectic Noah Kagan Shares His Best Tips on Learning, Productivity, and Entrepreneurship
“You should be optimizing your life through testing.”
— Noah Kagan
Today, we’re joined by a very special guest – but one that I’m not even sure how to describe… He’s a serial entrepreneur, author, podcaster, internet marketer, eclectic, business expect, and taco lover. He was employee #30 at Facebook and #4 at Mint. He’s the entrepreneur behind such successes as Sumo and AppSumo. He’s regularly seen with and compared to greats like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Ramit Sethi, and more. Oh, and he just paid $1.5M for a freaking domain name.
I was so excited to do this episode because although Noah and I have been in contact by email for years, we’ve never actually had the chance to sit down and have a real mind-meld. I really love him and his work, and I think you’re going to understand why immediately.
In this episode, we talk about… well, all kinds of stuff. Noah was his interesting, quirky, and insightful self right out of the gate, diving into his unique and effective learning philosophy. He managed to be SO interesting, that I got through less than half of the questions I had prepared… and yet, I think that the interview is actually better for it. On my end, I learned about a ton of interesting skills, habits, and ideas that I want to try out in my own life, and I think you will too.
In this episode, we discuss:
- What big learning challenge has Noah Kagan taken on recently, and what has it taught him about learning?
- Tons of top learning (and language learning) tips from Noah Kagan, a life-long learner
- What is Noah good at? What is his “superpower” that has allowed him to succeed so much in so many fields?
- How did Noah lose $170M at the beginning of his career? What was his career trajectory?
- What are some of the random projects Noah has tried over the years
- What is a “self diagnostic,” and how does Noah Kagan use it to improve himself over time?
- Thoughts on devices, digital detox, and our relationships to our phones and computers
- An interesting 1 hour challenge for you to try at home
- Suggested tips for renegotiating your relationship with the digital world
- Why does Noah Kagan get up at 5AM??!!
- What unique personal growth challenges is Noah engaged in right now?
- What is Noah’s “word of the year,” and what does it mean for him?
- A “discomfort” challenge for you to do RIGHT NOW, and thoughts on how to achieve challenges
- What makes Noah Kagan’s approach so different to most people’s?
- What are Noah Kagan’s TOP entrepreneurial tips?
- What are the biggest mistakes that most people make on the road to entrepreneurship?
- What are the 4 “P’s” of business, according to Noah Kagan?
- What big lessons has Noah learned from growing an 8 figure business?
- What are the tools, products, and services that Noah Kagan can’t live without
- A brilliant productivity / speed enhancement for your computer work
- What books have most impacted Noah Kagan’s life, and tips for how to get the most out of them
- Noah’s #1 tip for living a freakin’ awesome life!
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Noah’s company: Sumo
- Noah’s Other Company: AppSumo
- The Noah Kagan Presents Podcast
- Noah’s Blog: OKDork
- NatureBright Light Therapy Device
- Cal Newport
- Apps that Noah Kagan Uses and loves:
- Tropical MBA
- The Tim Ferriss Experiment (TV Show)
- Sara Blakely – Forbes
- What I’ve Learned Growing an 8 Figure Business by Noah Kagan
- Mac & Gmail Tips to Optimize Your Time – YouTube
- Books that have impacted Noah’s life:
Favorite Quotes from Noah Kagan:
“Learning something from brand new, like, baby level has been super interesting, for all aspects of life… Number one, you learn how to learn again.”
“You should A/B test how you’re learn or who you’re learning from .”
“I think too many people label themselves entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur sucks.”
“I love promoting things. So, what do I do? I just promote amazing things that are created in the world to people that I think should know about them.”
“I think if everyone reflects on their history, there’s some underlying theme or pattern, whether you take the time to figure that out or not is up to you.”
“We all have some gift… everybody does… What I realized that I’m exceptional at is I just go for things. I don’t hesitate… I just do it.”
“I think what separated or differentiated me in my career trajectory was that I was doing projects in the morning, and at night, and on weekends… A lot of people want that, but are they really putting in the time for that? They’re not.”
“It’s impossible to go through a day without a problem. It’s identifying your problems, and then working on solutions to make the future better.”
“Most people don’t actually allocate time for thinking.”
“I try to spend as much time as possible NOT on a computer… I’ve always thought… when the computer turns on, the brain turns off.”
“Your phone is your employee. I think a lot of people have their phone as their CEO.”
“Reflect, after the time you’ve spent today, on your phone… ‘What have I gotten out of this?'”
“This is how you make life epic: something goes bad. ‘Awesome. How can I make it better next time?'”
“If you wanna make more money, give away more money.”
“I hate most entrepreneurs… because what they want is this dream that’s not realistic… they’re not willing to suffer, and that’s what frustrates me.”
“There’s a reason I do it this way. I’ve spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it the way that you think you’re going to do it. And it’s not going to work.”
“Hesitation is the enemy of getting it done.”