The Nomadic Executive with Omar Mo - 
TNE055
Hosted by Omar Mo

Gamify Your Life, How to Master the Game of Life With Marketing Master Eric Siu

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What if life was just one giant video game? How would you approach the world if you had that mentality, health, wealth, relationships, communication, and really any skill you ever have to learn in life, as levels you have to pass before you gain the wisdom to move up. Got to be a jester before you can be a king. Think about it. You're born with some set stats in place. Perhaps you're born in a wealthy family, or you've got the perfect environment to grow up in, or you never get sick. Or you even naturally look like a model. You may have an edge in some stats and be less than average in others. But either way, in most cases, you can level yourself up and get better at things or traits that appeal to your values in life. And just like video games, there are cheat codes, and hacks that can help you level up faster and more efficiently with massive rewards on the other side.

This is exactly what we speak about with our guests. today. We're joined by Eric Siu, hosts of the leveling up podcast and the author of the book, leveling up mastered the game of life. Eric also co-hosts the podcast marketing school with Neil Patel who's the CEO of single grain, a digital marketing agency that's worked with brands like Uber and Amazon, and has been featured in major publications all across the world. But 20 years ago, Eric was just an ultra-competitive kid who hated school and loved video games. Join us while we dive deep into Eric's new book, and learn the tricks that can help you level up in your life.

Today's Guest

Eric Siu

Eric Siu is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. Single Grain has worked with companies such as Amazon, Uber and Salesforce to help them acquire more customers. He also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere, an entrepreneurial podcast where he dissects growth levers that help businesses scale.

Show Notes:

[04:27] – Eric Sue’s Origin Story

[08:24] – How being a good gamer translates to Business

[13:58] - Transitioning from marketing mindset (short term thinkers) to investor mindset (long term thinkers)

[19:06] – How Meditation changes your life

[27:50] – Process and struggles in starting

[35:31} – The Newbie Mindset


Transcript

Gamify Your Life, How to Master the Game of Life With Marketing Master Eric Siu | TNE055 TRANSCRIPT

Guest: Eric Siu

Host: Omar Mo


Omar: What if life was just one giant video game? How would you approach the world if you had that mentality, health, wealth, relationships, communication, and really any skill you ever have to learn in life, as levels you have to pass before you gain the wisdom to move up. Got to be a jester before you can be a king. Think about it. You're born with some set stats in place. Perhaps you're born in a wealthy family, or you've got the perfect environment to grow up in, or you never get sick. Or you even naturally look like a model. You may have an edge in some stats and be less than average in others. But either way, in most cases, you can level yourself up and get better at things or traits that appeal to your values in life. And just like video games, there are cheat codes, and hacks that can help you level up faster and more efficiently with massive rewards on the other side. This is exactly what we speak about with our guests. today. 


We're joined by Eric Siu, host of the leveling up podcast and the author of the book, leveling up mastered the game of life. Eric also co-hosts the podcast marketing school with Neil Patel who's the CEO of single grain, a digital marketing agency that's worked with brands like Uber and Amazon, and has been featured in major publications all across the world. But 20 years ago, Eric was just an ultra-competitive kid who hated school and loved video games. Join us while we dive deep into Eric's new book, and learn the tricks that can help you level up in your life. Now, before we get started here, I'm actually super excited to announce that I'm holding a giveaway. The first three listeners to email me at omarmodigital@gmail.com. That's omarmodigital@gmail.com. 


With a screenshot of a review you wrote for this podcast, we'll get a free copy of Eric's new book leveling up, mailed straight to you. You will literally be one of the first few in the world to get a copy of this book in your hands. And I guarantee if you read the book cover to cover and apply the lessons you learn, you will level up your own life. Remember Nomad fan, we've got some incredibly value-filled episodes planned out for you. So please hit that subscribe button and leave a review. Your review helps this podcast become more visible and ultimately inspire more people just like you. With that being said, here we go. My name is Omar mo and this is the nomadic executive.


Voiceover  

You're listening to the nomadic executive hosted by Omar from nomadables.com. Join Omar as he sits down and speaks with leading online entrepreneurs, remote workers, and digital nomads about everything from business strategy to travel and lifestyle design. Together, we're here to help you achieve a life of happiness, health, and freedom. And now here's your host, Omar Mo.


Omar 

All right, Eric Sue from leveling up from marketing school, the CEO of single grain absolutely stoked to have you on the nomadic executive today, man, how are you doing?


Eric  

Good man, hope you're doing well, hope you're staying warm over there.


Omar  

Absolutely. It's been a crazy, crazy week, I've been spending about half my 50% of my time next to McDonald's using their Wi-Fi to do meetings. But it's been an adventure at the same time. And to some degree, I'm a little bit grateful for seeing snow in Texas after so long.


Eric  

Amazing. Well, hey, it's all about the reframe. That's awesome.


Omar 

That's all it's about. And that's something that you mentioned a lot in your book too. Now there are a few things and first of all, even before we dive into that, I want to introduce your book here. So I've had the pleasure to actually read, leveling up how to master the game of life, from the entirety from cover to cover. And a lot of it is incredibly interesting, the mindset behind it, the little gamification, the little bonuses, the little leveling up, all of it are amazing. 


Although for my audience that's listening to this, I don't want to break too much of it. So there's going to be a book giveaway. Please keep that in mind towards the end of the episode. And if you listen to the end, I'll give away one of the books to you. But the book has a lot of incredibly different aspects. And some of them I do want to touch base because I just want to dig your mind a little bit deeper into them. But as we get there actually I want to start off with your origin story. Right. And this is an origin story that I think will resonate with a lot of people that are listening to this, start me off with your childhood. Start me off with that initial moment when you first realize you love video games.


Eric 

Yeah, well, actually, when I was about eight, nine years old, I really had two paths. I had actually started to build websites. So I built an mp3 website when I was about eight years old, called fire mp3. And, you know, I started to feel some traction around that. Like I kind of knew what I was doing but then all of a sudden games came along. And one of the early games I remember is, let's see, I did play MechWarrior 2, that I didn't play that much but really the one that I started to get kind of spend a lot of time with was Diablo. So Diablo, I spent a lot of time with Command and Conquer and then the adventure that led to StarCraft that led to you know, Warcraft, a lot of these types of games Quake, Quake II, Half-Life, Counter-Strike those types of games. 


But you know, what I learned from about age eight to 22 years old, was that gaming was very much it was my version of sports, I learned teamwork, I learned camaraderie. I learned resilience. And when you think about sports, you learn the same things. And just like in sports, if you overtrain too much in that world, you can tear your ACL, you can get injured right, you can get physical harm done to you. Now in the world of gaming, it's more mental harm that can be done to you. If you stay in that world for too long. If you train you've overtrained. You could have health ramifications, and also mental health ramifications, right? So just understand that these are worlds to go train in. And, you know, you can come in and out of it. That's the game


Omar  

When you first got caught up in the video game. So you didn't realize the degree that those ramifications in the first place? Did you like for example, when someone's really obsessed with a sport or even as a business owner that someone's really into their business? And they're super passionate about it? Everything else needs to go out of the window? Where you at that stage in the beginning? And if so, where was that point that you started counteracting it and realizing that, hey, I need to actually take care of the other aspects of my life.


Eric  

I don't really think I counteracted it until like when I started working maybe age 23 years old or so. So, you know, what was going on at the time was when I was playing an MMO RPG called Everquest, which was the precursor to World of Warcraft, these games take a lot of time, their time suck. And, you know, I, you know, there's a big thing, when you're part of something bigger than yourself, you want to constantly be helping, right? When you're part of a community, you're part of a great team. So I happened to be part of the great, the strongest team on my server, and I was a 12-year-old, everyone else was much older, they were people, some people were rich people that own planes, some people were lawyers, some people were college students, and you had this, you know, little 12 years old, right? And I felt like, Hey, I had a responsibility to these people and the fact that they believed in me, and that age meant a lot. And all the things I learned like I learned how to, you know, the importance of being on time of performing and calling things out, holding each other accountable. All those things. And so, you know, that world was more important than to me than the real world. Because in the real world, there was a lot more boring, I had to do things I didn't want to do, I had to go to school. 


And by the way, the content when you go to school is not that interesting? Why? Why do kids get addicted to games, because the content is way more interesting, right? That's how people should think about it. So, you know, I kept escaping to that world, because I was wanted, and I was good at something. And, you know, I was constantly at odds with my, my parents, right? You know, it would take away my keyboard, it would take away my mouse, they never bothered to understand, you know, what I was actually getting from all this and what I was learning. And so it was extremely painful. And it reinforced what I wanted to do, which is kind of to keep, you know, getting better in the shadow world, and also prove to my parents that what I was doing was the right thing. So that's what really helped me develop my chip on my shoulder.


Omar  

And that's what really kept bringing you back to it. Right? 


Eric  

Right. 


Omar  

And that stayed for quite some time. I mean, you did that till 23. And you were a damn good gamer from what I saw as well in multiple games across the board. How did that translate into business for you?


Eric  

I mean, it's everything. To me, like, when you think about, oh, okay, in every single game, to do the best things, you have to be a part of the best team. And so you have to put the best team together. But to keep the team together, you have to have a very strong culture, right? So you know, then we start to talk about core values and things like that all the things you know, in the business world, everything I learned from poker, and I actually think poker should be a prerequisite when it comes to school because you learn resilience, you can bring, you know, you can bring your A-game 3, 6, 12 months at a time. And still, you have variance catch up to you, the math will catch up to you and you can still lose all 12 months. 


But what do you do? What happens? How do you react at that moment? It's when poopoo hits the fan? How do you react? Right? That's everything in real life. It's controlling your emotions. And it's teaching you how to deal with things when things are not good. It's also teaching you to think in bets how to think long term, understanding where you're at in a hand, right? You know, given imperfect information, guess what? That's investing. That's business.


Omar  

That's right there when you said, investing right there when you were making the poker analogy in the book automatically. So I've never played poker but never professionally or anything. I've never played it to a competitive degree besides the strengths. But I have invested and a lot of investing in poker. I think there are such similarities in there because, at the end of the day, you're trying to control your own emotions. 


And I think as Warren Buffett said, I think he said something along the lines of, it's becoming a master of your emotions rather than becoming a subtype of succumbing to them. And that's something that is If's and Both so as a prerequisite for school, it's either poker I even believe, like invest the money to the athletic control your emotions and become. And you can keep your cool during those high, intense moments when you need to. Right.


Eric  

Yeah, and by the way, like the other thing too you learn from poker is just you most of the time, you're not going to be taking a lot of action, just like when you're, you know, when you're in the stock markets, you know, the people that come in and out of it constantly, they tried to take a profit and they have to pay taxes on it, it slows the compounding down. So you just learn to sit, you make good bets, and you sit with it for years and years. It's the same thing with business, it's the same thing with people. And so everything really connects to you know, the great game of business and just real life. And then when you treat everything as a game as an infinite game that's not meant to end, then you're just gonna wake up every single day with a really exciting mission. You're just gonna keep working towards it until you die. And that's it.


Omar  

honest question, or do you ever get tired of the game?


Eric  

No, because it's not every single day. Because the thing is, I can keep switching around one day I can be doing deals the other day, I could be working on helping people recruit. The other day, I could, you know, I can be working on strategy, I can go make content, I could just keep changing and changing. And you know, until like, I get bored, and I change to something else. So


Omar 

It's strange, and you read that resonates with me a lot, right? Because I'm a massive executer I'm always on the go. And almost sometimes in my mindset, it becomes like, if I stop, I'm gonna die. Like I just need to keep going, I need to keep going. But I've met people throughout my life and they tend to fall more on the introverted side of the scale, a bit more quiet, where they just sometimes just want to sit down, relax and look at the stars and not really do anything. And those kinds of people have always been incredibly hard for me to relate to because I'm an execute. I want to move I want to I like games like you like I like moving and doing stuff. You know, I like taking care of. So what are your thoughts? Someone on that side of the spectrum?


Eric  

Yeah. So I mean, I'm definitely an introvert. I'm an introverted extrovert. So I do recharge don't being alone. You know, that being said, I don't work crazy hours anymore. I mean, I'll go to bed at probably anywhere from 930 to 1030. And then, you know, I spent you know, a decent amount of money optimizing my sleep. So I have all this crazy stuff that goes into the sleep ritual. So I do all this stuff to basically set me up for the next day. So when I'm going to sleep That to me is I'm powering up for the next day. When I wake up in the morning, you know, all the platitudes you hear or cliches sorry, that you hear around meditation, right? You know, yeah, I'll do that. 10 to 30 minutes. Yes, I fill out my journal, right. But these are all little power-ups and they help with my Peloton bike, you know, I'll do my workout in the morning. 


But like, then I'm like, I'm powered up like four or five times, and I'm ready to go. And then you know, then when I start working on things like everything's a puzzle, right? When you try to hire someone else, like, Okay, how do I set up the right incentives for that person? How do I get to keep them for the long term? Okay, we have this cultural problem over here. How do we fix it? Right? Okay, this business is on fire over here, how do we fix that, right? So then it's just solving puzzles every day. And then that's it. And it's just super fun. But then your brain needs to recharge too. So then you have to go back to sleep, and you wake up again. And that's it.


Omar  

You have such a marketing lens and looking at everything, I love that. Because everything becomes a puzzle when you're in marketing, right? I'm in the marketing space myself. And I tend to see things the same way everything some way that you have to find some creative solution to fix it to get the highest ROI from it. Right. And that's the way even your book is structured, which I love, you know, you go down and you've got these little graphics going on, we're here, you reach the next level, oh, here, go to this website to get the power-up here. Here's a little snippet from my podcast episode that you should read. Everything's a little power-up in that book. And I think it's almost like an inner working or inner map of the way that your mind works. In retrospect, you know,


Eric  

yeah. But by the way, like, like, it's not even just like marketing is definitely a game. But then when you think about investing, like, oh, how do I get this deal done? How do I combine a bunch of things together? And if I do this deal, how can I make one plus one equal five? Right? So there's all these leverage points. I think marketing is a good stepping stone into thinking like a long term investor, it's just a problem with marketing in general, is you have you know, The World of Internet Marketing, where it's very short term thinking, whereas the world of investing, you have very long term thinkers, at least the bests in the world are,


Omar  

that makes a lot of sense. Did you have a little trouble transitioning from that marketing mindset of the short-term thinkers to go into the long-term mindset of becoming an investor?


Eric  

I think it just took time. I think it's you study the Charlie Munger is the Warren Buffett's of the world. You start you say, the Howard Marks like the Oaktree capital guy, not the Activision guy. But they're both great, by the way, but you just like, the more you read about them, the more you study them, the more you start to become like them. And, you know, that's what it is. You're just looking for signals and you're looking to copy whatever makes sense. I wrote about thievery in the book, and you steal whatever influence makes sense. And you make it your own like you just being adaptable. Yep.


Omar  

Yeah. And that's something that you emphasize as well, in the book. There was something and a lot of the book was fantastic. There was one thing about the book that stood out to me and it was it strange. So like, I've always had this burning question in my head. And the last chapter of the book gave me an answer that I didn't want to hear. Right. And it made me sad in a way and automatically my brain went Thinking of counterexamples of it to Like, who do I know that doesn't fit that? You know, and a few people came to my mind, but now I want to dive in in your head and why you think that way and why you believe that certain thing, and that is the four burners of life. Right? 


Now, essentially, and I'm gonna bring, tie this kind of back into your video gaming when you're a gamer. You used to play games all day, but your health went out the window, you're all these other aspects of your life went out the window. But you were focused on winning, and you were winning that game? Now it's a business. But do you not really think that it's possible to those four burners, the family, the friends, the work? And was it relationships? Or there's one more health? So yeah, yeah. And do you really think that they can't be overlapped in a way that you're good at both? 


Eric  

Well, I mean, there are four of them. So,


Omar  

I mean, maybe two out of the four, even or three. 


Eric  

So I think there's balance, right, I think you can over crank on business. So for example, if I'm in my 20s, I'm probably going to over crank on business, and then it might be on business and health, and maybe you know, relationships, and we're talking friendships and family, maybe that becomes second. But then when you go into your 30s, by the way, this is just my opinion, this is one person and this I got, I got this from, you know, I borrowed this from James clear. But you know, maybe in your 30s and 40s, you know, you have a family relationship, that becomes, you know, number one and number two, and then work takes a backseat, right? So then you can crank so hard in your 20s, where you can, you know, take a backseat and hire amazing people to run all your stuff, where you're not working as hard, you're working above the business, right? 


And then, you know, when you're taking care of all your kids and the relationships and all that maybe you're not working out as much anymore, you're not working out as hard because guess what, you're waking up at four or five, you know, 5 am in the morning, or even 2 am? Because your kids waking up all the time, right? So I think there are different seasons, and there are different dynamics. And then you know, when the kids graduating, they leave, guess what, maybe family, you know, you turn that down a little bit, and then maybe you take projects up a little more, you take health up a little more, right?


Omar  

Do you think that muscle memory kind of applies to it? We're like, you know, you've done, for example, like I've worked out all the way, and I know how to stay healthy. And I know how to keep my diet in check. But that took some initial maybe a year period to get to that point. Yep. Now let's say you crank up another aspect of your life, and you put that on hold. And now you want to go back to that you think you can pick that up? It's faster?


Eric  

I think so because it's a habit that you've built up, and then you just have to start to sharpen the sword again, I think it's just it's, it becomes hard. Because, you know, right now, at least for me, I'm guessing for you, too, you have a lot of control around your life, right, you can do whatever you want based on your schedule. But then when other people are involved, when there are other human beings and other dynamics, it becomes harder to try to control everything and you realize that you know, one thing is you can't try to control everything, the more you try to control it, the more things fall apart, right? Like, I don't know if you've read the inner game of tennis. 


But the whole idea here is that look, the more you like, the more athletes think about, oh, you know, is my shot gonna be right, the more they're going to screw it up, right? And so you realize that you know, it's not things are not good or bad. It's just it is the way it is right? And so what I'm really talking about right now is not having to look at things from any type of speed of judgment. And then if it's bad, if it's like if it's not going the way you want it to go, you just fix it, right? It is what it is, and you fix it. That's it


Omar  

a lot of sense. And that's a really insightful way to look at it, too. And I'm glad you clarified it that way. Because I almost felt like it for a while, I felt that because I'm so incorporated into my business right now. And other aspects of my life are suffering. But we have the same 24 hours everybody does us human beings. And it's about how you can allocate that time to really for the best of your ability. But at the same time you're gamifying it right, like for four hours there, eight hours there, let's power-up. And now you yourself have mastered your morning ritual, your night ritual, you've mastered your days in a way that so it's structured in a way that you get the most out of every single day. And I myself have nowhere near that yet. I'm just beginning that journey. It's something that you actually even mentioned twice in the book or even multiple times with the whole meditation thing. 


So I want to dive here in a minute into how meditations changed your life. But I've just started, like, you know, I picked up the Five Minute Journal, which I did about 334 months back, I did that. And I've been working on that and just you know, on that stage. So two things over there that I want to start with number one, you mentioned your night ritual there that you've really optimized for your sleep. So could you cover on that one first, and then we'll hop on to your morning one?


Eric  

Yeah, sure. You know, the funny thing is we actually have a leveling up journal coming out as well, which is very similar to the Five Minute Journal. So, you know, for me, when I go to bed, I'll just tell you the stuff that I use, I use a cover that's over my mattress called eight sleep. So it's the number eight spelled out eight sleep and what it does is it tracks my sleep and it also cools my bed as well. So, you know by 930 my bed starts to cool to about 65 degrees or so. My air conditioner turns on about 930 ish to 68 degrees as well, and, or 60 degrees, and I have a silk sleep mask, so it's very comfortable. And then so everything's black for me. And then I have this sleep tape I put over my mouth. And then I have a... And yeah, it's just you can put tape over your mouth, that's fine. But just forces you to breathe through your nose. Because what happened in the past was I breathe through my mouth, and you go to bed and you start to get really dry, and it's a wake-up and drink water. And then that would actually get me to use the restroom, right? I used to have to wake up to use the restroom three to four times a night, which is very disruptive to my sleep. And after putting tape over my mouth, I increased my REM sleep, which is, you know, you're at the highest levels of your sleep by 30 minutes. And then again, like my air purifier, it makes it where I hardly ever sneeze, no allergies. 


And so all these things add up and it compounds because then when you wake up, you're ready to go like I used to be. I remember when I used to go to school all the time, I'd fall asleep all the time. I didn't know why. But partly because the contents bored.


Omar  

Also, probably because you were staying up to like five in the morning playing games. But


Eric  

yeah, I mean, that was probably another reason too but yeah, like, but like you realize, like, you know, just watch the TED talk while we sleep. That's more than enough. You can read the book as well, by understanding that sleep as a superpower instead of saying, hey, like sleep, you know, is for the weak. You know, that's kind of a mental reframe that I think people need to do.


Omar  

100% I think that's massive sleep is definitely 100% essential. And recently I've started taking more precautions on my sleep, but I've never been a good sleeper. And I've realized the kind of difference that it can make. And even though I still don't get the best sleep, it's much better than it used to be a few months ago. So 100% zen by that. Now moving on to your morning ritual, you're covering meditation first, what do you think it's really, how is it? What kind of like changes is it brought into your life?


Eric  

The most important thing for me with meditation is getting me to slow down. So I have this turtle in front of me and this turtle, you know, it's a reminder for me, and I have this, this wallpaper on my phone telling me to slow down What's the rush? Because, you know, in my 20s I'm constantly comparing myself to people that were, you know, a lot further than I was. And I was like, why am I not there? Why am I not there, I was constantly comparing my chapter one to someone else's chapter 25. And, you know, looking at the turtle reminds me that things happen in decades to think of decades. And understand that looks amazing stuff happens over a 10 year period of time. And you don't need to kind of you know, keep stressing over every big opportunity every year, because the opportunity of a lifetime comes every year. Sure, you can have short-term urgency. 


But you know, when you think in decades, it's a lot. It's a liberating feeling, the pressure comes off. Because you realize, when you look at everyone else, by the way, some people that might be, you know, that are way further along. They've also been in business way longer if you look at when they actually started. And so it's actually not a big deal. But like I said earlier, it's not good or bad. It's just it is what it is and then just play the game. According to you, it's just you versus you at the end of the day, and you just need to level up 1% every day. That's what the game is.


Omar  

That's a really good reframe to and I think compared to something that I once heard Gary Vee say, he said, focus on building your own buildings instead of focusing on other people's buildings. And that will actually help me reframe that in my mind that it is what it is in your life, you're given these certain stats in your life, it's up to you to kind of build up the stats, the way that you see fit to perform at the level that you want to. And then you focus from there and you keep moving forward. Right? 


If you dwell on things that are completely out of your control, if you dwell on things that you could only always be doing this or you're not as good as this person, they're gonna slow you down, they're going to demotivate you, you're never going to reverse that. Yeah. So it's really good that you mentioned all these different things in the book, it almost takes like a stoic philosophy in your book in a way that combines and it's two worlds that I've never seen combined before, but stoicism in game. And it's an interesting take, and I'm quite excited to share it with my audience now. So you got your meditation down, what other aspects like what other is your morning ritual? What kind of like, springs you out of bed, and what gets you going?


Eric  

I wouldn't say I have it down. I mean, you know, I would love to meditate for 60 minutes. And then I would love to I remember one time I went to a meditation seminar, this is years ago, I left the first night my friend stayed, you know, for all three days. And so you know, we'd love to get to that point eventually, but just I think, you know, being able to sit with my thoughts and not try to take any action not try to judge it says a lot, right? 


But when you start the day with that, it's like okay, you know, just understand like to what I said earlier, it is what it is right? And then like let's figure out how to deal with things. That's what it is. So meditation is one piece of it. I go for 10 to 30 minutes and then the peloton bike, I go for about 20 to 45 minutes, just depending on how much time I have before my first meeting starts. Right. And then I'll crank out you know, 200 push-ups, I think it's 200 push-ups and think it's 100 squats and then 200 sit-ups. So it's like a basic workout because Have you know, we haven't been to the gym for a long, long time? Yeah. 


And other than that the Five Minute Journal is super important because the three things are grateful for things like the reinforcements there are super helpful. And then the final thing is I have a post-it with my annual goals. When I'm brushing my teeth, I have one right there so I can see it. You know, my business goals, my health goals, personal vacation goals for the year. And then I have my word of the year, which is harvest. And I have one right next to me right here too.


Omar 

So one when I'm working, and then one when I'm brushing my teeth. Interesting. Do you find these having a stacking effect?


Eric  

Because totally Yeah, it's so it's like, to your point, when you're playing like an MMO RPG, you can stack buffs on top of you. So you can cast different spells, you might get more armor, you might get more strength, whatever, as I'm stacking all these things, right. And the other thing is I've been doing this since I was 23. from thinking Grow Rich, there's an acronym that I reinforce every day. It's DFPAC, so it's Desire, Faith, Plan, Action Consistency. So I asked myself, like, you know, whatever it is I'm doing, do I have the desire? Do I have the faith? Do I have the plan, action consistency, it took a long time to actually start to develop that plan. But now it's just like every day, it's like, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. But it's just a spot check.


Omar  

That gives a lot of people hope, I think because it's funny, one of my audience members reached out to me the other week after I had an episode over meditation and morning ritual specifically. And they said, Hey, I just can't stay with it long term. I meditate. And I'll start for maybe seven days in a row. And after that, I'll fall off, I'll start journaling, maybe do it two days in a row, and it'll fall off. But it's good that there's a light at the end of the tunnel that if you can make it a habit and stay consistent with it, but start stacking and really, really help your life out rather than just these minute different things that maybe give you a small boost if you do it for a short period.


Eric  

Yeah, and by the way, if it falls off, like no judgment, right? I think it's just okay. It is what it is. How do I come back to it if I want to?


Omar  

I think this is gonna be the quote of the podcast episode. It is what it is no judgment. I like that. It's funny when my own asked you the last question for this podcast episode, which asked every single person that comes on, I'm gonna be really interested to see if it's gonna be the same answer. But moving forward. Now, I want to kind of dive into you as a person, right. And passed the 23 - 28, I know your childhood, and I'm not gonna spoil it too much. There's a lot in the book that people should read. But moving forward from there going to where you are now. And I would consider you having an empire, you're at that point, we have a marketing Empire. 


And I think when you come to the clubhouse, you don't get enough as much recognition that you should probably because you only spend two hours a day on it or something. But I don't get how you are on there. And then other people on there that I've never heard, but yet you're not nearly as many roses are up there as much as you should. So that kind of boggles my mind. But at this point, I consider you to have a marketing Empire. And you have something that you build up and it's kind of stacked over over a long period of time. 


Walk me through a kind of like the process from when you first started. And I guess Give me your biggest struggle as well. And I know, it's a super vague question. So I can definitely pinpoint if you need to as well.


Eric  

Yeah, I mean, you know, it was a complete struggle when I first started working in marketing. So I got an internship first. And then within that first year, I had changed jobs five times. So the good thing now is I could get any job I want in marketing because it was so much demand. And then from there, I mean, I actually never looked back because I kept leveling up because, you know, I would chase the opportunity not I was chasing the salary, I was like, Okay, I'm actually gonna learn a lot more here, I'm gonna learn a lot more here. And so by age 25, or 26, I was already leading a marketing team, I was managing 10 people, and which I had no business doing. 


But like, you know, a lot of it is you just kind of get thrown into the fire and you figure it out. By age 27, I had taken over single grain, which is the ad agency, which I bought for $2. And, you know, that's, that's a whole nother ordeal. But I actually made it go from bad to worse. And my bookkeeping firm actually called me and said, Hey, might be time to shut it down. So it was basically from age 23 to 27. It was a rush. And then really, after that, it was a lot of kind of just, you know, figuring things out. But I'm happy to take this in any direction that you want.


Omar  

Alright, so 27, you got the grade. And now after it finally almost went bankrupt, you started around into what it is now, a massive ad agency that works to places like Salesforce. And a couple of other really big brand names out there. You're doing massive things, right. And you will also have two podcasts going you're leveling up podcasts and the one with Neil Patel, who was originally your mentor from what I read as well as that, right? That's, that's amazing. 


So where do you want to go from here? I mean, you're still quite young comparatively to your age, and contextually speaking, you've always been young in what you're doing. When you started this marketing agency. You were managing people that were older than you when you were playing video games. You were 12. And all these people were much older than you. So I mean, you're still contextually run right now in your early 30s. Where do you want to take this? Like, where do you want to go? What are your goals?


Eric 

Yeah, I mean, when I first took over single grain it was under an asymmetric bet. So, you know, my outsides Unlimited, if I figure it out, if I lose, I kept my downside because I put it in contingency saying I would owe nothing if the company failed. And so, you know, my bet was always Hey, look, if I can make it figure out the agency's a great cash flow business. And I can always take those cash flows and use it as a funding mechanism to fund more durable or more exponential sources of revenue, which we've largely done. And, you know, we have the software company, we have, you know, the training, we have events business tied to marketing school, I also invest in other kinds of Martech stacks. So I'm investing in better sources of cash flow, just like how Berkshire Hathaway does with see's candies, they take the profits, and they go find, you know, other good spots to put it in. And, you know, I'm just going to keep compounding over time, with the understanding that I just love to buy and hold. So the agency, sorry, the marketing audiences, those will continue to compound and grow. And I'm just going to go buy or build whatever makes sense and plug it into the audience and try to get as much leverage as possible. And I'm just gonna keep playing. 


So I don't really have any plans to sell anything. And I'm not trying to, because I look, if I sell, I lose all the leverage that I have. And so in most cases, it doesn't make sense to sell. But there's a book called the messy middle talking about, hey, like you only sell like, if you're tired of it, you don't want to do it anymore. But if you sell it's largely not a good deal, because you lose a lot that you that you've built up a lot of the momentum, which is why you look at you look, look at Berkshire Hathaway, a reason why Warren has the success that he's had Warren Buffett, look, he's worth 85 billion right now. But 84 billion of that most of it came after his 65th birthday. It's because he's not trying to constantly take things out. He's not day trading. He's not taking profits, necessarily, right. He's trying to leave the money in there. And that's what investing is, it's buying and holding. And there's a lot of other holding companies that have done that. 


So if you're asking me, hey, what am I trying to do long term, it's long term, it's a holding company, and I'm just gonna keep building on top of that, but long, long term, it's, you know, thinking about marketing school, that's the thing I'm most interested in, it's, you know, how do we build a great, you know, income share agreement type of program, and I'm happy to elaborate on that, and then tie that into, you know, newer technologies that are coming out, because the total addressable market for that is huge. 


Omar 

And when you see marketing school you're talking about the podcast, specifically?


Eric  

I'm talking about a boot camp that we're so that the podcast is one piece of it, but we want to have a 12-week boot camp, where we take people from zero to job-ready and actually get them jobs, and we'll take a cut on the recruiting fee. And when they get a job, by the way, if it's an income share agreement, the agreement would be they would pay us 15% of their income for the first two years, with a cap of $30,000. So incentives are now aligned to get free education. And then if they don't get a job in the first five years, they don't pay us, right.  


Omar  

I've seen similar business models with other coding academies.


Eric  

lambda school does that. 


Omar  

That's right, yeah. It's a smart idea. And essentially, you're gonna do this, but in the marketing space,


Eric  

Correct, yeah. Cuz we have the audiences for it, it just makes that format makes all the sense in the world. But the fact that you know, Neil, and I get hit up for a market, like people looking to hire marketers all the time, there's a recruiting play. And then there's also another big play, you know, we can go even further talking about the blockchain, right? big buzzword. But to be able to track let's say, you have an intern working somewhere, to be able to say, Hey, you know, what, if they complete these tasks in a SATA, will afford or award them 25 cents, you can actually track everything now. And in a public ledger, you can see who the best students are, who completes the most assignments, what badges they have, so you have a gamification aspect to it. Right. So that, to me, is the future of education.


Omar  

Yeah. And I think you're right on the cusp, right there to putting that model in the marketing space. Because so far, I've only seen that done in the coding space. And I mean, if you look at it, really the history of what the internet really has done in the past 20 something years, there's been this rush of becoming web developers becoming like anything in the coding space. But we're just starting to see that transition and become really saturated in the marketing space as well, but not quite there yet. But it is slowly becoming, I think you'd be right at the forefront of the education aspect of creating some sort of school that can incorporate that business model where it's a revenue share option, and then from there, grow it that way. And I think you'd end up becoming one of the first forefront leaders for that what other people would follow suit? To be interesting to see where that goes, but um, yeah, yeah, that's cool that you're expanding your empire that way. So you're just gonna keep playing the game? If you get tired of it one day and just say, I'm gonna hang it all up.


Eric 

Yeah, I mean, you know, the reframe for me, actually, when I first took over single Ranch, sure, you should have a profitable business. I mean, it should be run profitably. Right. But for me, it's constantly How do I get rid of the profits? How do I get rid of the money? Right? I'm constantly reinvesting back into it into R&D or other initiatives. Because that's where you get the best bang for your buck. That's the best investment you can make in yourself and put it back into your business. If you got a formula that works. That's counterintuitive because we're taught to, again, absolutely. If you have a profitable business, it's being run. Well, that's one thing, but we're taught to take all the profits in right that's at least what my parents taught me. What are you taking home? What are you taking home, but in California at least they take 53% of what you make, right might even be 63 or 68%. Now, who knows what it's going to become,


Omar 

you can pull it JLD and move to Puerto Rico.


Eric  

I almost moved there. I almost moved there in November, but I backed out.


Omar  

That's hilarious. I actually just spoke at an interview with him earlier today. So that was interesting.


Eric  

That's awesome.


Omar  

Cool. Um, I want to touch on one last thing before we go on to the final question here. And this is another part of the book that I've battled with on the inside of my head. So I kind of saved it for the last. And that is you talking about the newbie mindset. Now, to a certain degree, I definitely agree with what you said about the newbie mindset. And 100%, you'll learn more than anything else with that newbie mindset and keep your mind open. In that sense. You'll always be a newbie, quote, unquote, but you'll always be growing and more exponentially than if you were set in your old ways. I mean, we can see this even generationally, right, older generations are set in their old ways, they just refuse to bring in, I can see this, my own father. It's just the way that our parents brought up their traditions. But there's the other side of that, for me, there's this quote that I've heard it's called, the way it goes is, you've got to be a Jester before you can be a King. And that aspect of being a king, there's a lot of merit to it, there's a whole, I can lay back and just get done. And you know, I know how to do it. And I don't have to put too much effort in and everything comes with ease and all that. 


I myself have reinvented myself many times. And I've always been in that newbie mindset for as long as I can remember, even in business now I feel like I'm a complete newbie. And that's what gets me longing to have that non-newbie mindset to be a king and just kind of laid back and you know, not have to put in so much effort. So do you think that there is more merit to having the newbie mindset at all times? Or do you think there's some merit to also the flip side of it, where you can just lay back and you know, give it some ease?


Eric  

So this is just what works for me, I just find, if I go back to the gaming world, whenever I used to get really elite at things, at games, I would start to get very arrogant. And, you know, I'll get to the point where, you know, there's just certain things I would do if I win a battle, I would make sure that I would step on their throat and make sure they don't get up, right. And I would make sure I say things to them to keep them down, right? Because I was held down before so I want to keep them down, right? So for me, my behavior was poor, and I just don't want to do that. So when I approach things with a beginner's mindset, or just, you know, a phrase that I remember, is always just strong views loosely held, and this comes from Marc Andreessen. And so this goes with investments that go with any type of thing where if I'm presented with new data, I'm going to change my mind. And I'm always going to have an open mind to things because the moment I feel like I'm good, or if I made it, that's when I start to become arrogant. And I don't want that to happen. So the reframe for me is just to always think like a newbie. So when I joined a lot of these clubhouse rooms, I find there's a lot of ego in the room, right? People are, you know, they're comparing themselves to each other, they're talking down to each other, you can sense the ego in their voice. And you can even, by the way, I can sense when, like, to your point, when they treat me like I'm just like somebody, to step on, right? And that's totally cool because I actually love that I've learned to reframe that. The psychological pain into it. Give me more of that, right? Give me more of that, eventually...


Omar  

I remember looking at your story the other day, and you posted this, it was something like you sent out an email to somebody. And he said, Thank you for the motivation. And that just got me like this. I was like, that's sick. I said that back.


Eric  

So that guy like, so that guy by the way, like, always remember how he made me feel but like, I won't hold any grudges towards him. I'm just going to use whatever he said as motivation, right? By the way, he saw that, like, I didn't push his name or anything he saw that immediately removed me from Instagram, right? And so I'm like, okay, you're gonna react that way. But for me, I'm just going to use it as motivation and give me more like for sure I'll see you around, right? Because the b2b world of marketing is a way too small world, right? I love that.


Omar  

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. That's good. That's a fantastic reframe as well. I think really, what you're doing is essentially, bringing in the empathy into it too, by keeping a newbie mindset, right, because I've definitely been a very competitive person myself, I've gotten to that point where if I'm going to crush you, I'm going to completely destroy you. Yeah, you know, so I know how that is. And it took some time to kind of learn to reel that back in being a competitive person like we are and actually bringing the empathy and bringing more kindness and understanding from the other side, right. So that's good that you bring that up. And I think that's a fantastic life lesson that everybody has to learn at some point or another. So perfect. 


This ties in perfectly now to the final question that I love asking every single person that loves that come on my show, and it's going to be interesting to see what your answer is as well. So that question is if you had a billboard in space, and everyone from Planet Earth could see that billboard every single day waking up just like they saw the sun. And you could read a few things on that Billboard and we're talking every person on the planet by the way, what would you write


Eric  

Think bigger? 


Omar  

Why that?


Eric  

Because we're all human beings, everything you see around you is built by human beings and some people think bigger than others. And in some cases I've been, you know, let's, let's use, let's use, let's use SpaceX as an example. Right? So Elon didn't have to, he didn't need to take the proceeds from the PayPal sale to go do this Tesla or SpaceX thing or even help with Solar City. But he thought really big, right, let's understand that one of our greatest problems or two greatest problems probably going to be inequality and climate change. He's solving for climate change right now. Right. And so, but he didn't have to do that. But he thought a lot bigger, right. And so but if you think about it at the end of the day, Elon is one person, he's a Superman. But if he can do it, we can at least strive to we don't, we know we can get there, right? 


We don't need to be like him. But we know that we can at least think a little bigger. So I think what ends up happening is, you know, we look at each other, and maybe we're in the local area, and then we see the highest person we see is maybe someone with a local business, there's nothing wrong with that. But that's what we know to be the top of the food chain. Right. So I think going around challenging your thinking, looking for, again, strong views loosely held, looking to learn from all these different types of people, which is why I love learning from investors and VCs, because they think about the world a little differently, versus the world of the kind of, you know, affiliate internet marketing.


 There's nothing wrong with focusing on money, but that is what they focus on. They focus on me, me, me, me me. Money, money, money. Look at my Lambo. Look at my Ferrari look at the place I live in, right. That's the world, right. But that world ends up staying small because the thinking was just me, me, me. It was internal. It wasn't like, let's look into the entire world.


Omar  

So the best way to think bigger than to be would be to reference people that are already thinking big and just learn from their feet.


Eric  

Yeah, and by the way, like I wrote the chapter on thievery, like everything's we're building on the shoulders of giants like this, this mouse over here, like Apple stole the mouse from Xerox, they stole the GUI from Xerox is SpaceX rockets that come back. They're fundamentally like, they look the same as old rockets. But they come back to Earth, which is a big difference. So we're all just iterating. But we, you know, that's what it is. We're iterate, we're iterating. And we're learning. We just have to, in order to think bigger, we have to think differently, which means we have to go look at people that do that.


Omar  

I spoke about that quit that somebody that's a quote that really stood out to me. We're all iterating we're all just copying each other. I spoke about that with my friend earlier today for quite some time. So that was an interesting take for sure. Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on today. Eric. I think that was an incredible episode. And you're an awesome guy, and I really loved it. Now, before I let you go here, where can people go and purchase your book? I certainly giveaway that I.


Eric  

I appreciate that. So they can go to levelingup.com or they can go to their favorite online retailer. And then you can follow me or message me at Eric O SIU on Instagram or Twitter.


Omar  

Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on today, Eric.


Eric  

Thanks for having me.


Omar  

What a great episode. That was. I learned tons of awesome hacks that I'm going to start applying to my own morning and nightly rituals, tons of value yours, so if you got any value from it, please feel free to share it with your friends whom you think would benefit from what Eric had to say. Remember, if you're one of the first three listeners to email me a screenshot of a written review you wrote about this podcast to omarmodigital@gmail.com. I'll personally mail you a free copy of Eric's new book leveling up. Thanks, Nomad fam. Speak to you next week. Remember Nomad fam. We've got some incredibly value-filled episodes planned out for you. So please hit that subscribe button and leave a review. Your review helps this podcast become more visible and ultimately inspire more people just like you.


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