What makes me a growth expert?

Well, I've walked the walk. I've given up everything (and I mean everything) to pursue an idea. And I've built that idea into a revenue generating business with real customers. I've done it multiple times. I've failed on occasion but also seen some great successes. In both cases, I've learned and continue to learn a lot. I will always be an entrepreneur. It's in my DNA. And I feel it is my duty to share my experiences with others that want to pursue their own ideas so they can avoid the mistakes I made. 

I believe that it is only when you have nothing and have to fight to build everything that you learn the skills required to growth hack. Because if you don’t figure it out, you starve. So you try a lot of things in the very beginning, until you start figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Then you continue to fine tune what works and it gets you some success for a while - until it doesn’t. Then you start the process over again. But this time you’re better at it and you get to success faster. The next time you are even faster. Until, guess what - you’ve become a growth expert!

My journey and other personal philosophies.

Growing up I was very quiet, shy and super traditional. I studied business in college and went on to work in investment banking as a research analyst.

Meanwhile, when I was 18, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. For those unfamiliar with cancer lingo, Stage 5 is death. Needless to say this weighed a lot on me. Doctors originally gave him a couple months to live, but my dad decided that wasn’t going to work for him and he ended up fighting for another 10 years. Ultimately he passed away with the last year of his life being very difficult to endure as I saw a rapid deterioration in both his physical and mental health. 

That experience gave me a tremendous amount of perspective, and in that I took away 3 Keys to Life:

1. Life is too short to be unhappy

2. Any grievances you have in your life pale in comparison to someone who is fighting for theirs

3. People are just people. We all bleed the same blood, sweat the same sweat and cry the same tears.

This helped shape the rest of my professional career. I left finance to pursue a job in entertainment, which I long had a passion for. After accomplishing what I had set out to do in that industry (to make and sell a movie to a major studio), I walked away and decided to start my own business. I ended up co-founding a company with 3 of my friends. In one year we grew to over six figures in revenue by implementing a strategy I helped spearhead as CEO. Those few years were unlike anything I’d ever gone through before and I’m sure any entrepreneur worth their salt will know exactly what I’m referring to. Taking a business from ideation to revenue is a true test of character and it is from this experience that I learned 3 Keys to Entrepreneurship:

1. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to do what everyone else isn’t. Genius is only recognized as genius after the fact. The journey to genius is often viewed as crazy.

2. Work harder than everyone else. I cannot emphasize this enough.

3. Work the problem. Entrepreneurs figure out how while everyone else scratches their heads.

I ultimately sold my stake in my first venture and joined another venture backed startup as their head of growth. In 3 short months I grew revenue by 3x by implementing a similar strategy as the one I developed at my previous venture. I finally realized my calling. 

“It’s not what gives you bliss or makes you happy 24/7, but what you’re willing to suffer for — what you genuinely believe to be worth the sacrifice.”
— Elon Musk's ex-wife (forgive the irony) on the definition of passion

By all stretches of the imagination, I love the hunt. I love building my weapon, scouting the prey and planning the attack.

I also have a knack for it.

Looking back, I've been hacking my entire life. I mean, what is hacking other than finding the shortcut? I got my first job out of college by hacking the system, I sold a movie to a major studio by hacking, I met my wife through a hack, I've gotten into Oscar parties by hacking, met celebs, built relationships out of thin air, you name it. And so it is from this culmination of life experience's that makes me so good at growing companies quickly.

As a growth specialist I live by these 3 Growth Hacking Mantras:

1. Every company’s story should be a direct answer to “what problem are we solving and how are we eliminating pain points.”

2. Growth hacking is in itself a myth. There is no shortcut. True growth occurs only after you figure out how to effectively communicate your story via A/B testing and then scaling that story through multiple channels.

3. Authenticity goes a long way. Anybody is accessible with a little authenticity.

I was born for this! I'm a storyteller. And all growth starts with great storytelling!