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May 20, 2016

Stop being a wantrepreneur

Noah Kagan on becoming a successful entrepreneur

There is a big difference between having an idea and executing an idea. Having the next million-dollar idea is not enough to make you an entrepreneur. You have to act on it.

For so many aspiring entrepreneurs, the road stops at an idea. Sure, they may build a website, design a logo, maybe even create a comprehensive business plan. But they never make a sale. They never grow their business beyond a pretty website or a fancy logo. Until that happens, they’re still just a wantrepreneur.

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Wantrepreneur vs. entrepreneur

A wantrepreneur is someone who spends their time and money on everything else except creating a real business. They get distracted by all of the shiny objects around them and they never turn their idea into a successful and sustainable business.

On the other hand, real entrepreneurs care about one thing: building a product or service that people want and making that sale. They put in the work to see their idea come to life. Sure they spend time creating a website, designing a logo and coming up with a business plan. But they also dig in deep to explore their market, study their customers and put a plan into action to turn their dream into reality. They change their psychology to become unstoppable.

Noah Kagan

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, AppSumo CEO and serial entrepreneur Noah Kagan shares his personal tips for building a business and what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The road to startup success is anything but clear, leaving plenty of room for creative ingenuity. If you don’t have the right tools and mindset, then the only guarantee you have is that your road will stop short.

Noah’s backstory

If there’s anyone who knows what it takes to get an idea off the ground, it’s Noah Kagan. While still in college, he started the website and online newsletter, OkDork, in 2001; it’s still going today. He has worked at digital giants Intel Corporation,, Facebook and Mint Software, Inc.

After being the 30th employee at Facebook and the fourth at Mint, he took what he had learned about startup culture and helped to found Gambit, a virtual gaming payment processor. In 2010, he left Gambit to create AppSumo, an entrepreneurial tool that helps connect entrepreneurs with new apps, courses and tools at over 90% off of the retail price.

Noah on what it takes to be an entrepreneur

Noah is no stranger to testing out new ideas – and failing. But what he doesn’t do, is sit in his defeat. Instead, he turns it into a lesson. He knows that failure is part of the process of moving from being a wantrepreneur to an entrepreneur. If you want to improve your business, you have to put the work in. Noah’s ideas aren’t just lofty future goals. He takes massive actions to turn them into successful business ventures.

In this podcast, Noah and Tony discuss how true entrepreneurs know that work-life balance is a myth and how we need to strive for work-life integration instead. They also discuss smart ways that they have scaled their businesses, found and hired high-quality employees and handled the mental and emotional game that comes with being an entrepreneur. Whether you want to run a small mom-and-pop shop or build a $10 million business, moving from a wantrepreneur to an entrepreneur is not easy but, if you put the work in, it’s worth it.

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[0:01] Episode introduction
[02:10] The failure to execute
[03:00] Three stages of mastery
[06:50] The best entrepreneurs are the best leaders
[10:33] What is a wantrepreneur
[12:00] The importance of validating your business
[15:00] Setting price points
[18:30] Identifying your customer
[22:45] Noah’s coffee challenge
[26:00] Taking real action today
[28:00] Scaling your business
[31:00] Hiring strategies
[33:00] Finding high-quality employees
[38:00] Pursuing your business full-time
[43:30] Your relationship and your business
[45:00] The mental and emotional game
[47:00] Setting immediate, short-term goals
[48:00] Persevering through down cycles
[49:28] The rule of one
[49:50] Surrounding yourself with people who make you better
[51:30] Next on the horizon for Noah
[52:45] Fine-tuning your primary tools
[56:20] Driving more traffic to your site

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