Dave Schools
Follow
Jul 5, 2019 · 6 min read

Image for post
Nat Eliason
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon Univ., Nat Eliason takes a marketing job at a list-topping remote tech company, Zapier.
He’s employed there for a few short months before he gets hired away by Noah Kagan to work at his marketing SaaS powerhouse company, AppSumo, in Austin, Texas.
Eliason soon realizes he doesn’t need to work at a company to be successful. He bets he could do better on his own. After ten months, he quits his job.
He raises $125,000 to start a company called Tailored Fit, a machine-learning apparel shopping website, and burns through it all because “we had no idea what we were doing.”
In pinnacle digital nomad form, Eliason travels the world writing in-depth articles on his personal blog, nateliason.com, on topics like travel, marketing, philosophy, technology, books, business, and psychology. Soon, his blog traffic grows to over 300,000 visitors a month.
The traction to his personal website soon becomes a launching pad for various entrepreneurial ventures.
He creates a male kegel sex app called Stamena, which brings in $4,000-$7,000 in a strong month and $1,000-$3,000 in a weak month. “Revenue fluctuates month to month based on how highly the [SEO] articles are ranking,” he says.
He also publishes an online course called “Programming for Marketers” which netted $58,000 in its first 5 months. He has since shut it down and the course’s website, www.programmingformarketers.com, now redirects to an article on his website.
In nearly all his blog articles, he embeds Amazon affiliate links, which produce another healthy stream of income.
Eliason even makes money from reading books. He does it by maintaining an index of highlights and quotes in Evernote from the hundreds of books he’s read and calls it his “Brain.” He sells access to it for $50. I’ve seriously considered buying it.
Together, these initiatives bring in roughly $12,000 per month, he tells me.
In September 2017, he moves to New York City and hits a rough patch. Stamena sales drop. “I just doubled my cost of living and halved my income. It wasn’t sustainable.”
This difficulty incepts Growth Machine, his SEO content marketing agency. For a while, several clients had been asking for his services, but he isn’t interested in, as Naval Ravikant puts it, renting out his time (a.k.a. freelancing). However, due to the revenue crunch, he agrees to work with a handful of clients.
The years he had spent writing on his personal website suddenly pays off. His opening price for each client is $6,000 per month.
That number rises steadily.
Today, Growth Machine is doing $150,000 in monthly revenue. Eliason’s role scales into being more of a CEO; he focuses on business development and hiring employees. He’s writing less.
Altogether, Nat Eliason’s projects and businesses generate $1.94 million in total annual revenue.
Nat says he takes home about $16,000 a month personally.
He turns 26 in March 2019.
In April 2019, his blog passes 690,000 visitors, according to the web traffic tool SimilarWeb.
Eliason’s latest venture is a brick-and-mortar tea cafe in Austin called Cup & Leaf. It’s scheduled to open its doors in mid to late 2019.
10 Life and Business Lessons From Nat Eliason
Don’t pursue freedom. All the usual goals and pleasures millennials strive for don’t seem to matter. He’s plumbed the achievement gamut — freedom, travel, intelligence, followers, money, sex — and yet has found them all to be …empty. “It was immediately a wake-up call,” he writes after one year of digital nomadism. “My efforts up to that point had been focused on achieving freedom and pursuing novelty, but now that I had maximized them, I wasn’t any happier. Arguably I was less happy since I’d ditched plenty of amazing things (relationships, communities, cities) out of a sense that they limited my freedom.”
Pursue commitments. “It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of greener grass through more money, travel, sex, experiences, people, whatever you believe will bring you to that next level of bliss, but in most cases,” says Nat Eliason, “the grass is greener where you water it.” Take Cup & Leaf, for example. He’s well aware a local niche cafe is not the optimal way to generate revenue or increase freedom. “But it’s a cool experience,” he says. Another one of his commitments is called second-degree dinners, an innovative way to meet new people in your city.
Disregard fame. As someone whose accomplishments relative to his age could probably get him ranked on any number of “30 Under 30”-type lists, Eliason says: “Most of those lists are bullshit. I personally don’t care about them.” Nat doesn’t write for Forbes or Inc. or Entrepreneur because “They don’t have any backlink value,” he says. “Bylines don’t mean anything to me. The stuff I write I want to be useful for years — adding it to the churn of these sites seems like a waste.” Plus, “I couldn’t make fun of them,” he smiles.
Put money in its proper place. “I don’t care about money,” he says. If money were his main goal, the fast lane for him he says would’ve been to get into private equity and invest a lump of cash in index funds and live off the earnings. But: “Anybody who does that while sipping Mai Tais on a beach in Thailand will not be happy,” he says. For Eliason, money buys the ability to do more of the things that motivate him. Work is a part of that. He works “because I care more about having smart people around me who enjoy working with me.
Avoid fakeness. Routines can be fake. Writing can be fake. Projects can be fake. You can do these things because someone told you you should or because you really want to. Be the latter. Don’t have a role model to copy. Aim for things, not people, he says. Be yourself and strive to be great at what you desire most.
Learn SEO. The two skills you need to do what Nat has done are writing and SEO. Nat’s advice for SEO is to write the best answer on the internet for a question people type into Google (e.g., how to design a website). “It’s really hard,” he says. The hardest part of SEO is knowing how to write well says Nat. “A lot of people understand mechanics, not writing,” he says. Being a philosophy major first was a big help for knowing how to clearly explain complex ideas in readable language. For more, here’s his 1-Hour SEO course for free on YouTube.

The question “Where do you see yourself in 5–10 years?” is silly. “I have no idea,” he says. “I can’t accurately predict that far ahead.” Instead, he works with a timeline of 3–6 months to make plans and tries to maintain reasonable expectations as he works on them.
Saying “no” is terrible advice. “Say later instead of no,” says Nat. “I have an infinite list of possible later projects. I get to pick from those when I have time.”
Read for 30–60 minutes a day. At the time of our interview, he was reading The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.
His favorite organization tool: Asana.
A final thought
Neil Gaiman, in his Keynote Address to the University of the Arts in 2012 entitled “Make Good Art” said a statement that embodies Nat Eliason:
“The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.”
Original millionaires are made not by copying the path of another person or by following a formula, but by unifying your unique assets (skills, passion, and hard work) with the right path (opportunities and projects and people) — it’s very difficult to figure out—but if you can maximize it, you’ll create a significant amount of value that only you can create.
Entrepreneur’s Handbook
How to succeed in entrepreneurship; feat.
Following
17.2K

55

Entrepreneurship
Writing
SEO
Money
Happiness
17.2K claps

55 responses

Dave Schools
WRITTEN BY

Dave Schools
Follow
Mktg at Hopin. Bylines in CNBC, BI, Inc., Trends, Axios, et al. Creator of https://mediumwritingcourse.com and Party Qs app.
Entrepreneur’s Handbook
Entrepreneur’s Handbook
Following
How to succeed in entrepreneurship; feat. founder stories, design articles, and startup deep dives that inspire your entrepreneurial journey.

Saimadhu Polamuri
Follow
Feb 21, 2019 · 4 min read

Image for post
Robin Sharma’s The 5 AM Club book
The first book I have chosen to read for the year 2019 is Robin Sharma’s The 5 Am club. It’s quite evident that everyone’s default task in the new year resolution list is to Wakeup early.
Mine too 🙂
Seeing the title of the book, few might be feeling the book will contain a set of rules or tactics which you can practice or teach yourself to wake up at 5 AM. But it’s not TRUE.
It’s a fiction story of 4 main characters.
Characters age-wise (Max to min)
Spellbinder
Billionaire Mr. Riley
Male Artist (A professional painter)
Women Entrepreneur
The story begins with the entrepreneur character who lost most of her shares and she is so close to the situation where she is going to be fired by the company she started. Begin in such a situation she goes to depression and will try to commit suicide.
That’s when she finds the entry pass for the life-changing event by Spellbinder as the entry pass placed on the table by entrepreneur mother. She feels to give it a try.
In the Spellbinder seminar hall, she meets the Artist who love to paint but miss his focus multiple times in his life. While Spellbinder was giving the speech on how to get control of your life, he will falls down.
Entrepreneur and Artist feel bad about Spellbinder, While they about to leave the seminar hall, they will meet Mr. Riley (Billionaire). Three of them will start discussing Spellbinder speech. While leaving the seminar hall, Mr. Riley offers both Entrepreneur and Artist to join him at the same place the next day at 5:00 AM. So he will teach on how to own the early morning and elevate our lives.
From the next day, the main story begins.
The main story is all about how the Entrepreneur and Artist followed the tactics explained by Billionaire and how their life changed afterward.
Finally, the book ends with, what happened to these main four characters after five years (been in 5 AM club).
In short:
To wake up early, we need to sleep early. Keep yourself away from devices while you are sleeping. Minimum 1 hour before you sleep, turn off all your devices.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
Even though I enjoyed reading this book, I felt Robin Sharma’s The monk who sold his Ferrari is my favorite book than this new book.
Below are highlights noted while I am reading the book.
The great women and men of the world were all givers, not takers.
You need to remember that your excuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.
Don’t live the same week a few thousand times and call it as life.
Don’t let the pain of an imperfect past hinder the glory of your fabulous future.
Ideas are worth nothing unless backed by the application.
World class begins where your comfort zone ends.
The place where your greatest discomfort lies is also the spot where your largest opportunity lives.
The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.
Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary feat’s once they’ve routinized the right habits.
If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.
The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.
All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
When we are young, we sacrifice our health for wealth, and when we grow old and wise, we realize what’s most important and become willing to sacrifice all our wealth for even one day of good health.
Geniuses understand that it’s smarter to create one masterwork than one thousand ordinary pieces.
Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being. If not leave this gathering. Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.
Human beings have a tragic habit of remembering the things that would be smart to forget and forgetting the wonderful things it would be wise to remember.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Sweat more in practice, bleed less in war.
The only devils in the world are those running in our own hearts. That is where the battle should be fought.
Unexpressed emotions will never die.
Be yourself — everyone else are already taken.
The Latin root of the word passion means to suffer.
If it wasn’t difficult at the start, It wouldn’t be real change.
The old you must die so a better you can be reborn.
If everyone would clean their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.
Part-time commitment delivers part-time results.
Who learns the most wins.
All these early mornings will make me an icon someday.
You will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.
Private desire without personal development is like dreaming of having a gorgeous garden but not planting any seeds.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.
Everyone dreams of being a legend until it comes time to do the work that legends do.
An addiction to distraction is the death of your creative production.
Small daily achievements, when done consistently over time, definitely do lead to stunning results.
Dream big. Start small. Begin now.
Winning without enjoying is nothing.
Your thoughts, your feelings, your words, and your deeds are the four resource that will allow you to materialize miracles in the world.
Be the main character, otherwise what is life for?
saimadhu-writings
Saimadhu thoughts, imaginations and dreams into words
Follow
46

1

Book Review
Self Improvement
Books
Productivity
Book Recommendations
46 claps

1 response

Saimadhu Polamuri
WRITTEN BY

Saimadhu Polamuri
Follow
Data Scientist | Founder of @dataaspirant https://dataaspirant.com