8. Active versus Passive Growth

What can you do to actively get results?
I also share the difference between passive and active communication and why email can be unproductive.

7. Same skills but different results

“Only about three percent of the men who go into business for themselves succeed. Seventy-five percent of marriages are failures.

Only a few who have had the privilege of college and university educations make a real success of life.

This fact bothered me. I wondered why it was.
Then this new unveiling of the Word came, and I saw that the difficulty lay in this: they had education, they had training, they had opportunity, but they did not know how to use the knowledge they had, or how to take advantage of the opportunity when it came, or how to fit themselves into life so they would win.”-E.W Kenyon

In this episode, I share one of the things that give one person an edge over another even though they have the same skills.

5. Who matters and doing happy work

In this episode, we talk about how to find work that saves you from “monday blues” and why leaders never really care about TGIF since they are doing happy work.

The second part of the show is a story about a founder who didn’t know that all voices don’t carry the same weight.

If irate commenters and unfavorable press still bothers you, this will cure you.

Check out other episodes at Growingstartup.com and subscribe to the youtube page.


4. Focus and becoming Buffett

In this episode I share a story my father told me about focus in his business(or the lack of it) and how it relates with an experience Warren Buffett had.

Check out www.growingstartup.com/growth for a step by step roadmap for getting your first 1000 customers.

3. Entrepreneurs and sleep

Does the number of hours you sleep(or don’t sleep) have anything to do with your results as an entrepreneur?

In this episode I address sleep and how entrepreneurs brag about not getting enough sleep.
It depends on what you are optimizing for.

The focus should actually be to get results, not to sleep less. 

Subscribe and visit growingstartup.com//growth to find out how to get your first 1000 customers.


2. From product and business into assets

Welcome to episode 2.
I share a conversation I had with a friend about how to turn your products or business into an asset.
Send your questions to jeff@growingstartup.com

How GrowingStartup got started and the failures before our success

Let me tell you a story about two businesses I started that failed and how I would do things differently.

As you read, you will see which pitfalls to avoid.

My first business failed

In my first business, we created one of Africa’s first IOS apps. We had the idea and in a few months we had launched the app.

Launching the app was impressive because I didn’t own an iphone, had no capital and in 2008, few people even knew what an Iphone was.

The downloads, praise and reviews came in but we made no money from it.

Not even $1 dollar.

One of the reasons was that knowledge on app monetization wasn’t as widespread as it is today.
We could have charged for the app or allowed in-game purchases but no one on the team understood sales or marketing very well.

To tell you the truth, I was just excited to have worked on something cool at the time.
There’s a bigger reason why we did not make any money on the app but let me tell you about another business I started that also made ZERO dollars.

My second act was a little different but still the same in many ways.

If at first you don’t succeed

Fresh Words Inspired was a blog I started to talk about business a few years ago. I like lions so nearly all the posts had an image of a lion. Very soon people were sending me photos of lions.

I have always liked the t-shirt industry because moving from idea to product is fairly simple plus I’m pretty creative. There’s something really fulfilling about seeing someone wear something you created.

I wanted to monetize the blog and the only way I knew how was to have a friend design a tee and put it up so I did exactly that and guess what?

No one bought a single shirt. Not even one.

I did not understand how to promote products online so I did what I saw others doing and got no good results.

Here is the point I was getting at.

“Not understanding how business or anything for that matter works is the same as walking around in a dark room.”

Have you noticed the common theme in the experiences I shared? I was ignorant. I had not studied what it took to promote and monetize software or t-shirts. I was trying to use common sense like everyone else.

 “Common sense will get you common results but understanding will make you see farther than anyone else.”

What I should have done was to first understand the market, identify who my ideal client was and then create a strategy to monetize the products.
I could have also researched to find out who else was making money in their field and sought to understand their business model.

For example with the t-shirt company, I never bothered to find out if there were any prospective clients who wanted to buy a tee with a lion wearing a snapback.

I just assumed others would like it because I liked it. Understanding can make you so much money in business.

It’s the difference between a broke real estate developer and a wealthy one.
Many people build apartments, not because they know of a specific demand for the property but because they have a few acres of land and think that is the best way to develop it.

When you get tired of failure. You start winning!

Now that I was tired of failing I sat down to find out where I had missed it.
Around this time, I had just gotten married and moved from Ghana to Connecticut.

Here I was unemployed and broke for the most part.

Everyday for months I spent at least 6 hours a day studying online marketing, copywriting, business growth and sales. I didn’t just read books and online courses..

I studied them inside and out.

Reading involves the eyes but studying engages the mind.
When I was ready I launched an online course and promoted it using my new skills.

This time money came in even when I was asleep.

I found out that my ten years of experience starting and advising business owners was finally paying off. My next act was to start helping others to get the same results. I moved my family to Silicon Valley and started a growth advisory firm.

Finally, I was able to start charging 5 to 7 figures to help software companies and online businesses grow faster, sustainable businesses

I saw two things almost immediately.

  1. Consulting doesn’t scale and if you’re like me who feels business is a calling, having a few clients is not enough.
  2. I noticed most of the startups I was helping really just needed to get their first 10,000 customers and it would Snowball into something bigger.

Even though I am trained as an engineer, I kinda suck at coding so I got a friend to help me build a growth marketing tool which I launched on the app store and product hunt a few weeks ago.

This time things were different. All the hardwork, experience and studying paid off with the app.
I started getting customers from all over the world in a matter of days. I did all this as a solo founder without a virtual assistant or growth team.

This will take work on your part and I can’t say that you will get my exact results since I don’t know your strengths, weaknesses and experiences.

Here’s what I did and you can copy this process.

Step 1: Identify your best idea, product, features or highest value activity.

Step 2: Identify the best segment of the market

Step 3: Create the bait that will attract your ideal customer

Step 4: Set up marketing system i.e landing pages, funnels and campaigns

Step 5: Launch campaign and watch the money roll in

I went from nothing to where I am today with: NO connections, no staff, no big email list, no capital and no office.

Thank you for getting GrowingStartup.

If you’ve started your business and want to get your first 10,000 paying customers, go here. 

Leadership by productivity and results-not age, titles or seniority

When you hear people say “our leaders” do you think of yourself or someone in government or senior management at your company?
For some reason, young people hardly see themselves as leaders.
The idea of leadership always seems to refer to an old person.

Here’s another definition of a leader and it’s the one most people don’t know.

Gartner says over 80% of smartphone users have an Android phone.
That means only about 20% of people use an IOS(Apple) powered smartphone.
Interestingly, Apple captured over 79% of the profits in the smartphone market.

Both businesses are leading their field not in titles or age. 
They are leading with tangible productivity and results.

The leading player on a team doesn’t have to be the captain.
He just has to score more than everyone else on the team.

This is why asking for a raise just based on how long you’ve been in a company isn’t a smart move.
A smart CEO will consider productivity and results before age when selecting senior management.
If a younger person can deliver the goods, that person is promoted while older employees are left disgruntled.
We’ll talk about how to hire and promote in a later letter.

How do I become the leader in my profession/industry/community?
By simply being the most valuable, productive and indispensable person in that field.
Tactically, it’s by becoming an effective manager of your energy, resources, time and emotions. 

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been beta testing an app for entrepreneurs.
It’s a simple roadmap for attracting customers to your business.
If you’d like to test it later this week, simply email with the word “tester” in the subject line.

Principles stay the same but application varies.

There’s a popular book by an American real estate billionaire.
A few years ago a friend told me he didn’t like the book because you couldn’t apply the principles to Ghana or places outside the USA..
Recently Forbes highlighted about 4 millionaires who studied the principles of that same book to build their empires in Asia and the Middle East.

Principles stay the same. Application varies.

My aforementioned friend still has a few acres of land but no buildings and no empire.
What did the other millionaires see that he didn’t?

I believe it has to do with an understanding of the application of principles.
People forget that principles will work wherever you apply them if you know how to tweak the application to your environment.

It is wisdom to hear a principle and find out how to make it yours.



How to find and attract the right customers

Dear ambitious startup founder,
Please allow me to help you move from
where you are today to where you
ought to be.

Some of this may seem very obvious.
Unfortunately early stage startup founders
seem to miss these simple principles.
This of course is the reason for so
many startup failures today.

“Learning by experience is fine…but the
experience doesn’t have to be yours.”

Step 1. Is this your best idea and are these the right features?
Don’t make the mistake of working on
your weakest idea.
Continue Reading…