Missions and Marketplace Podcast
Interview with Nick Loper
Hello everyone I’m Priest Willis and this is Missions and Marketplace podcast episode number 27. Today I’m joined by Nick Loper who used to work for a giant corporation and he built his business during nights and weekends. He is a big believer in leveraging the side hustle to bridge the gap between working for someone else and being a full-time entrepreneur like many of us. After college, he did what most people would do; and he got a corporate job but quickly found out that he wasn’t going to wait around for a gold watch. So, he started to work on a side hustle by playing around and building a comparison shopping site and then created a footwear site and just unloaded with different products and different things which created extra income streams. Then he started getting questions about “how do you do this side hustle stuff?” And this is where his real journey began with Side Hustle Nation. And we’ll talk about his podcast, his Facebook community page and all these other fun stuffs. Nick’s a great guy, great guest to talk to. Without further ado, here is my man, Nick Loper.
Welcome to Missions and Marketplace podcast. Join us as we talk to business and thought leaders to discuss their passion in and outside of business and how it drives them to give and be citizens of goodwill. Let’s get started.
PW: Hey Nick, welcome to the program. Why don’t you tell the people a little bit about yourself?
NL: About Nick. Um. I run a site called Side Hustle Nation and a podcast called the Side Hustle Show and really it kind of was born out of my entrepreneurial experience, my entrepreneurial journey as a side hustler – like did what you’re supposed to do, got a corporate job and pretty much right out of the gate the prospect of spending the next 30, 35 years isn’t just what I want to do, I had no interest in climbing that corporate ladder.
PW: So, was the timeline like you went to college, you found a corporate gig and almost literally within a year or two you’re like “this isn’t for me”?
NL: Yeah and even probably before taking that job because I always knew in the back of my head I wanted to do my own thing and I just wasn’t in a position to do that straight out of school. So yeah, I’ve been trying to build up a business on the side. Which I think to the entrepreneurial narrative that you hear coming out of New York and out of Silicon Valley is “you can make the next Uber”, “you’re going to raise millions of dollars in venture capital”, “you’re going to be ringing the bell at the Nasdaq” and there are certainly people who do that but I don’t think that’s a realistic journey or at least it wasn’t for me. I think the far more common brand of entrepreneurship is starting something small, starting something on the side, starting something low risk, low investment and then building it up over time in your spare time and then maybe eventually taking the leap when you have some validation or some traction and you can see where this thing is going and you imagine “hey if I had an extra 40, 50 hours a week to pour into this, I think I can make a real run at this”.
PW: That’s a great way to approach because I think people do have a misconstrued approach on what they think an entrepreneur is. I mean they do think like if I’m not starting an Uber or I was going to Yahoo but that’s not starting, it’s ending, right?
NL: Hey, you’re going to date yourself. [Chuckles]
PW: [Laughs] Or just starting some online business, then they think they’re not a true entrepreneur. But I think you’re showing with the different things that you have and we’ll kind of get into it that “hey an entrepreneur has many facets and still can be somebody who’s working full time at their job”. All these different levels of the person that may be disabled in their home and they want to try different stuff but I’ve listened to your podcast. Again, we’ll talk about a lot of stuff that you approached. But one of my questions is how did you get into teaching others to take sort of the same steps that you’re taking now? So, you were in college, you kind of knew beforehand that you weren’t going to get the gold watch at the job, you end up leaving your full time job to start your own business and create different vehicles of business – we’ll talk about what those businesses are for you – but how did you then turn around and say I want to start a podcast and I want to start a Facebook community that now share that knowledge and just create a tribe around it?
NL: It was a lot of years in the making and I think you have to do before you can teach. And I still don’t think I’m the world’s greatest teacher, I really rely heavily on a lot of awesome guests to come on and share their been-there-done-that experience.
PW: Your humble man. You do well.
NL: Thank you. I guess a couple years ago, so the site’s like three years old now, and there was a lot of talk at that time about personal branding. I actually kind of found this quote after the fact to justify what was going on. It comes from Nathan Berry, he’s an app developer or was an app developer and then turned around and started writing books about app design and development stuff like that. He’s like there are those who are excellent producers, they can do the work and then there are the people who do the work and can teach others how to do the work and there’s an entirely new revenue stream that opens up, entirely new business model. And so, that appealed to me and I had already started down a path. But it was really some kind of soul searching of like what am I excited about, what do I want to be known for when people Google me. You know I never get tired about talking random business ideas, business schemes, startup ideas. I just love that stuff and trying to help people to maybe step back the entrepreneurial definition and making your own luck, taking initiative, being proactive about your own financial future, not being a hitchhiker on that road.
PW: So, I was going to ask the question but you kind of pointed to it. I was going to ask why was it important for you to start your own business? But you kind of pointed to the fact that you gambled on yourself versus doing it in corporate world. But is that ultimately what was most important to you when starting your own business? Were you just going to take a shot on yourself or were there other catalysts for you?
NL: It’s addicting man. Like those first sales, in any new business I love the sale, the kind of empowering and confidence building. Like oh I’m more than my job title, somebody paid me for my thing and I get this high in half a dozen different. So, it started for me like doing this painting business in college. Literally like knocking on doors and I’m like “hey can I paint your house this summer?”. The sales pitch was hopefully a little bit better than that. But you know here these people like trusting you with their biggest asset and we can save the debate for whether your home is an investment or asset for later. But to have that, somebody writes you a check for several thousand dollars, was kind of an empowering feeling especially for me being an impressionable youth at 19, 20 doing this. You look back at the end of the summer, you kind of had your first taste of marketing and sales, and hiring, and firing and ultimately working for profits instead of wages. And that was a really eye opening thing and I made the mistake of underbidding every job because I was like worried I wasn’t going to get enough work. But you almost have to go through that experience to learn from your mistakes and move forward. But I absolutely loved it and I wouldn’t trade it.
PW: So, let’s talk about the transition from your full-time gig to your own personal stuff and let’s talk about those initial sales that you talked about getting excited about. What were those initial sales like and were they in multiple different niches? Or did you initially launch out on just one product or one platform or something along those lines? So, the question is, what did those initial sales look like and what did you launch out doing?
NL: So, after the painting business the original side hustle was a footwear comparison shopping business that would make finder’s fee commissions from Zappos, from Amazon and from these other online footwear retailers. And how that got started…
PW: Was that affiliate based?
NL: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. So, there’s a direct link on Google Ads for some specific model of shoes, so it’s like New balance, 5, 7, 8, women’s or something like that – very specific. Like here’s a direct link to the retailer, whoever I can find with the best price with my affiliate link. I started out with a budget of $1/day because I’m like “this might work, this might not”. But ultimately that turned out to be pretty profitable because it was a very, very targeted keywords. And New Balance was great for that, by the way, because they’re like very specific model number, it was easy to do. After I had some validation there, I was having a hard time growing and expanding that because the prices would change all the time, stuff would go out of stock. So, I thought the best way to scale this is going to be to build out a legit website, a comparison-shopping site, niche it down specifically for shoes, you can aggregate everybody’s catalog, you can have all the stores on one page, it’s going to be easy. It definitely still had the same issues of data-changing and several out of stock especially with footwear and so we turned over 1-2% of the database every day. If you let it go a day, if you let it go 2-days, not a huge deal. If you let it go a week, all of a sudden, you’re spending some money on ads for stuff that’s out of stock and it’s expensive. But now it’s like firing bullets before cannonballs in good to great speak testing that idea very, very cheaply in kind of a low-risk way before making that big cannon ball bet on having that website built out.
PW: So, you went to comparison shopping sort of sites. Did you build multiple ones or was it just that one that’s focused for footwear?
NL: So, that was the main focus. I built one for sandals which was kind of dumb, it’s not even a different enough vertical I don’t know why I did that. I built one for handbags because everyone, a lot of the same advertisers, a lot of the same stores, also sold handbags and luggage. And I didn’t really do enough validation of that market before building that site out because it was such a wide width of different sellers and so it was a different challenge on the data processing side. And on top of that, commissions were lower and it never ended up working out so that was a big, expensive mistake where I probably should have just doubled down on what was actually working.
PW: So, when you were working your fulltime job, you must have been realizing some kind of money for this comparison shopping site and then you said “forget it, it’s time for me to go” and that’s when you really branched off and kind of did your own thing with this site. Is that true?
NL: Yeah, so probably it was three years of nights and weekends of doing the shoe site before I quit the day job and probably stuck around longer than I needed to, or long as most people would just by nature of being somewhat risk averse and wanting to see like a good revenue track record, good revenue history. Kind of “oh I want to be able to cover our fixed expenses for six to twelve months” or “I want to replace my day job salary for a history of 6 to 12 months” and then make that leap. Other people, and God bless them, the first month they start to see some traction and like “that’s it, I’m out of here”. But I was in, I didn’t hate the day job. It wasn’t a painful, painful experience and so I was like “ok, I can use this to build out some extra runway”.
PW: So, what do you think are some steps for those who maybe in a similar position and maybe they’re not even making the level of money that they even can think about quitting, but what do you think people should be looking at before they decide to leave their fulltime job? Like you were maybe a little bit more risk averse or you wanted to really compare, is this going to at the very least cover my fixed expenses. But what are some of the top items people should really consider before leaving their job?
NL: Well, everyone wants to replace their salary or replace their income but the one thing you really have to look at is your expenses and this kind of goes back to the Rich Dad, Poor Dad stuff. Once you have income from assets, or income from the business that’s covering your expenses, like you are kind of out of that rat race, you don’t need that day job anymore provided everything continues the way it has. So, I think, mind your expenses, keep your expenses low. I talked to a guy and this was kind of a heart-breaking call last year who was like “I need to make 10 grand a month in the next 45 days starting from essentially scratch”. I was like “Why?”. You just leave that lifestyle creep of continuing to living up to and at some cases beyond your means. And then if anything happens to that income source, for most people it’s their job, that’s just really, really scary to me. It’s like don’t let yourself get into that position that makes it so much easier and somewhat more flexible to make a transition outside of work.
PW: Were you faced with anything when you first left your job and you went into your own business that just slapped you in the face and you weren’t expecting?
NL: Dude, did we talk about this before? This is like the perfect set-up especially with the slap metaphor- it’s like a Google slap. On my first day of retirement, my first day of self-employment.
PW: Are you kidding me?
NL: I literally just turned in the keys to my company car and this is like summer of 2008 so the economy is just going to hell. And I’m like “What did I do?”. They shut down my advertising account and said “hey this site is not a quality experience for our users. You can’t advertise with us anymore”. I was like “what are you talking about?” I’m giving you and your shareholders thousands of dollars per month. I’ve served thousands of happy customers for the last 2 years, you never had a problem with this. You have got to be kidding me. I go through the seven stages of anger and denial and all that stuff. And they don’t really tell you what they want to see other than “hey this is an affiliate bridge page or thin content page and the sole purpose of your site existing is to drive traffic to other sites”. And I was like true, Google yes, but take a look in the mirror, the sole purpose of your search engine is to drive traffic to other sites. They didn’t like that too much. So, I kind of spent all summer beating up the site, adding more content to the pages. I mean we have half a million shoes, you can’t write unique content for every single shoe. So, it was still going to be a data-driven site or data feed drive site but adding more internal links to kind of balance out the external links that were on the pages and doing some stuff like that. And they came back three months later, they say “oh, looks like we made an error, you’re good to go”. I was like “Oh my God! Are you kidding me”.
PW: Three months, you were essentially down. So, if you were Google slapped, you were deindexed by Google essentially.
NL: Yeah. So, it was a paid search, so it was the AdWords penalty which didn’t impact the organic results which I wasn’t really much organic traffic anyways. So, I still had Yahoo and Bing, it was probably Pre-Bing at this point but I still had Yahoo but it was like 20% or 80% of the traffic and revenues gone instantly I was like “Oh my God”. Very scary times. But it was one of those sinker swim moments where like dude I’m glad I quit when I did because that really shook me and I don’t know if I would’ve made that leap had I waited another couple of weeks. So that kind of brings me to one of the common themes on Side Hustle Nation of diversifying your income streams, focus on one project, one business at a time but once that’s up and running, okay how can I invest those proceeds into building something new, something to hedge my bet little bit.
PW: And do you take revenue from outside your business? And this may be a little personal but I’m going to ask it. Do you take revenue and invest some of that into accounts like Betterment or do something that’s even another level of hustle if you will? So, I’m always telling people like “look have your side hustles but also pull some of that money aside” because I’m a believer of pouring it back into the business but I’m also believer of investing somewhere you can. So, do you have any Betterment accounts or anything like that that you invest funds into?
NL: yes. So, I use betterment, I have some in Prosper.com for peer to peer loans and then just kind of have a self-employed 401K. But I think you touched on an important point of like “re-invest into your business but also take some money off the table” or at least put it into, I don’t know we can always debate like how safe the markets really are. They’ve been safe the last eight years but you know who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s kind of like three tiers of financial independence, right. The first tier may be “Ok I cover my bills with my day job, I’m doing great”. In tier two, “hey I can cover my bills with my business, I’m doing great”. In tier three, the final tier, the financial freedom hammock on the beach tier is like “oh, I can pay my bills with my investments. I’m living off the interest essentially”. That’s what we’re working on now.
PW: And the reason why I’m bringing it up and bringing it up at this time is because a lot of us as entrepreneurs, we tend to get so caught up and wrapped up in owning the business and trying to see it come to fruition and trying to bring it to other levels depending on where you are that we tend to forget that there’s other opportunities that are also hustles within themselves. Like opening up low index funds and trying to have your money make money and even if that’s at a low level, just having the discipline to take some of those funds and invest it. You have to start now. Otherwise when you start making more and more money, the million dollars or whatever it may be if that’s something you’re going for, you won’t have the discipline to do it then either.
NL: Now what’s your take on this? Because I think there are ways – if you’re just starting out, I think investing a hundred dollars isn’t that exciting for seven percent a year. I think there are ways to turn that over a lot faster. So, what do you think if somebody is like “I don’t have that much to invest”. Would you allocate even small amounts to sure you can see those accounts or would you say here’s how you can flip products or here’s how you can accelerate that a little bit.
PW: So, it’s a really good point that you’re bringing up here. So, I do believe that there is a level where some of that money, but it depends on the level of how much people are willing to hustle, right. So, some people aren’t willing to put together Amazon books and other things that I would maybe take a hundred dollars, find somebody to help me write a book, put it out that way and then use that as kind of generating sales and income versus throwing it out on Betterment which I would get a smaller amount or return on theoretically. But people don’t have that go get them, they’ll just leave it sit in the account and I’m saying if that is the case then at least try to find other avenues like Betterment to put it into. But yeah there are levels to what I would consider to be a true investment. I don’t think a hundred dollars is going to make or break your situation.
NL: I talked to a guy yesterday or actually earlier this week who had a really successful side business just flipping electronics, like source them locally on Craigslist or whatever and then turn around and sell them on Amazon or on eBay rather. And he’s talking with his aunt or somebody who’s like you know investing in CD’s where five years later they’re going to give you like a 2% return. It’s like “oh my God, give that money to me I could turn it over so many times in five years”.
PW: And you brought up the house point earlier. I’m one of the guys that’s a firm believer that the house, unlike X amount of years ago, is not as much of an asset as people might think after you really weigh out the cost. But again, that could be debated based on where you live and some other things. But if you’re going to be a renter and be under a certain percentage, you could totally take that money that you would have paid in between homeownership fees and whatever and use that as a portion of your investment and continue renting. So, I’m that guy that kind of follows that rule of thumb. And speaking of people Nick, I know you interview a lot of people on your Side Hustle podcast and I want to make sure that people go check it out. What is the common thread that you’ve heard from the people that you interviewed? What makes them tick? And what separates them from those that have success and not? So, when you hear all these stories about people that have tried this, is it persistence or what is it that keeps resonating with you as you talk to more and more entrepreneurs?
NL: There are a few common themes, a couple of them. So, I ask people “hey what’s your number one piece of advice?”. The most common thing people say “just do it, just get started”. Which is easy to say and hard to do if you don’t have an idea. So, one of the kind of common success themes that I see is tapping into preexisting marketplaces. So, I just gave the example of eBay, you give the example of putting books on Amazon. These are kind of peer to peer platforms that have been around now twenty years. But there are, with the sharing economy or the peer to peer economy, there are hundreds of these different platforms where you can put your buy buttons and have an opportunity for people to do business with you. And they’re marketplaces of buyers like “I’m not going on Amazon expecting to get something for free”, I’m going on there in most cases to solve a problem. And if you help me do that with your book or you2me if you can help me do that with your course, I think you’re setting yourself up for success and a lot of these are “passive income marketplaces” where you build that asset once and sell it over and over again.
PW: And maybe if I could dive a little deeper with that and I know it’s a loaded question, but what do you think are maybe the top three or four side niches right now? Based on all the people that you’ve talked to on your podcast and I’ve heard of many with different things that they’re working on. What are three or four that you’ve been able to pull from that that you thought where if the listeners are listening now, maybe try this? This is a hot niche right now.
NL: So, Amazon is definitely the hottest thing going tapping into the e-commerce revolution without having to build a store front of your own and attract customers of your own necessarily. You tap into their, whatever it is, worldwide three hundred million verified credit card accounts; tap into the searches that are already going on over there. If you can come up with your own kind of unique pivot or twist on an existing product and manufacture it, there is some start-up costs involved with that. There are a lot of people don’t really think about if I’m going to bring my own product to market and buy 500 units that could cost several thousand dollars. The cheaper way to get started would be the retail arbitrage method and that’s something that you’ve covered on your show. I’ve done this, just like while I’m out shopping, if I’m at Home Depot, I’m at Walmart or something like, “yeah let me swing by the clearance section”, pull up my Amazon app, my Amazon seller app and see what this item is going for online. And the general rule is if I can double my money and it has a sales rank of less than a hundred thousand, the sales rank is an indicator of how fast it’s going to turn, go ahead buy that, send that in to Amazon, they’ll do the fulfillment for you that’s why that business is attractive. So, I think that’s a popular one. Honestly Craigslist has come up again and again and again and this is one of the top ten sites in the country in terms of traffic. So, lots and lots of eyeballs there – both for people acquiring inventory to kind of buy low and sell high and to turn inventory over to sell it and to sell services actually – like “hey I do small business marketing, I do social media consulting, I do copywriting for car dealers”; you know whatever random service business it is; I do housecleaning, even like local services, surprisingly common thread on Craigslist comes up over and over again. And you2me we mentioned, I think was better. So, I’ve been on you2me for the past 18 months or so and actually was earning pretty solid revenue – between 200 and 600 hundred bucks a month on average and then they changed their pricing scheme in April and it’s kind of taken a dive so I’m curious to see where that goes. But lots of marketplaces, one that we talk about on the show, I had four times is Fiverr. It’s like the marketplace of goods and services starting at $5. I wouldn’t go too crazy trying to sell services but if you have some digital asset you can make and then sell something that requires your time in the upsells and gig extras, I think that’s still kind of a compelling place to look.
PW: You know I actually opened up a Fiverr to do small business consulting because of your show.
NL: Oh, nice.
PW: Yeah. I just wanted to test it out. I’ve never played in Fiverr outside of being a buyer but I wanted to flip it a little bit and be a seller. So, I just threw myself out to do some small business consulting, nothing serious, not expecting to do anything big. We’ll see what happens there and that’s very recent so I haven’t had any hits there.
NL: I was going to ask if you gotten any gig yet?
PW: No gigs yet. And again, it’s probably, I’ve had it up for about a week now maybe.
NL: Woah. Okay, so it’s new.
PW: Yeah, it’s very new so we’ll see what happens. But those are three really good ones. Now Craigslist, I would have never guessed that one that somebody could build a small side hustle under that. So, that’s really good.
NL: Me neither. And the funny thing is using these networks and platforms to kind of leapfrog your business, they get that initial traction. Upwork is another popular one, it’s the largest online freelancing marketplace where it’s like “okay, I’m trying to build my portfolio, get some clients under my belt, and then I can establish my own brand, my own storefront after that”.
PW: Yeah I love Upwork. I use Upwork with some of our people that we work with that help us on the site, with content and other stuff. I use Upwork to outsource to the Philippines and different areas which I’m very transparent about. I love Upwork. Maybe on the flip side not necessarily putting my services out there but using the services have been great for me. Just to kind of wrap up here towards the end, can you tell us what are some sites, apps that the person that’s working on the side can use? So, we just talked about Upwork, but what are maybe some others to help them be more efficient? A lot of entrepreneur sometimes or the accountant or the janitor or the SEO guy or the PPC guy but what are some sites outside of Upwork and maybe Fiverr, those are two I know we can use that we can leverage to kind of help us be just better entrepreneurs?
NL: Like productivity apps or more like marketplaces?
PW: Maybe both. So, if there are some good productivity apps out there that can help, that would be great. And then maybe just some marketplace pieces that we could use.
NL: So, I’m actually not big on productivity apps. I don’t even use to-do list or Evernote or anything like that – just kind of old-fashioned pen and paper here. But one thing that I do do is I have set up through a service called Nudgemail and combined that with Google Docs form and I did a little write up on how to set this up so I can link that – or send that link to you. But basically, I get an e-mail every night that says what made today awesome and it asks what you get done today. So, that’s kind of the productivity element because I know that’s coming to my inbox every night and I got to be able to answer that even if no one else is reading it. What made today awesome or made today better and one thing that I recently added to that was a sliding 10-point scale, how happy are you today? And the reason for that is if you want to run experiments like what would happen if I work out every day? What would happen if I meditate every day? What would happen if took cold showers every day? And see if that has a measurable impact on the happiness factor and if it does great, I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t, like okay that was not worth it. So, that’s one productivity or kind of gratitude tracking thing. I’m actually putting together a monster resource on all these peer-to-peer platforms that people can check out. Hopefully I’ll have it done, this is live. And I think it’s actually going to turn into a new book project, I’m pretty excited about it. But there are tons of these; like Airbnb’s of the world, the Uber’s of the world, the Lyft’s of the world, all of these different ones where I can earn money in my spare time and set my own schedule. A couple that I found just recently were tutoring platforms where I can help people learn English, whatever four languages I teach, I can do Skype lessons. I was looking for Calculus tutors near us in California, people were charging like $40-60 an hour and they had half a dozen reviews on the platform. Like somebody’s hiring these guys? This is kind of cool. And I was like I can do this in person, I can do this online, I can set my own schedule. Somebody stopped by the blog yesterday, he said he makes fifty to a hundred grand a year doing parking lot cleanup and this actually blew my mind. It’s like shopping centers and industrial parks and stuff, they can’t be bothered with cleaning up their parking lot for trash. And so, they contract that out to a third-party. It’s like I just go for a walk every evening and clean up the trash in these parking lots and they pay me this recurring contract. I was like “oh my gosh this is fascinating”.
PW: Wow. It’s amazing. This goes back to what you were talking about earlier, but it’s amazing how many different side hustles are out there that are unimaginable to people and sometimes you’re going to have to use your imagination because we’re always looking for that home run, that Uber and stuff that you brought up. But, look at this parking lot where this guy kind of goes as a third-party and cleans up. I would have never walked past parking lots, now I will. But I would have never walked past parking lots and said “what if they need a clean-up guy just to straighten things up here?” That’s why I love Nick’s show guys because he does present a lot of different entrepreneurs and people with side hustle that you would have never thought of. Some of the other ones are ones that he mentioned about Amazon but there are others out there that are really like, I would have never thought of this one. So, you have the podcast where you talk to entrepreneurs, you’re doing your own side stuff and again we’ll have a link for you guys to check out the website. He’s actually on their hitchhiking too. You talked about hitchhiking earlier so I thought that was interesting. Tell us how you unplug man. I mean you talked about taking cold showers which I’ve read on the Side Hustle Nation Facebook page which I thought was a really interesting concept, don’t know if I’m going to do it. Matter of fact, I know I’m not going to do it.
PW: And meditation. But do you really incorporate all those things into just being an entrepreneur because I know entrepreneurs deal heavily in a lot of areas with anxiety and stuff and a lot of it is because you’re so tied in. How do you untie? How do you unplug?
NL: I want to ask you the same question. I’m having a hard time with that especially with a four-month old in the house and I found my hustle time diminished – not as much lately now that the kid is in daycare but still I have some anxiety over all the stuff that I want to get done. And because I really love the work, it doesn’t necessarily feel like work but I have some self-imposed. I understand that nobody is sitting there hitting refresh in their inbox and like “why hasn’t Nick send out my newsletter this week? what’s going on?”. I know that’s not happening but I have it set up in my mind to be like “hey I’m committed to do this every Thursday, let’s get it done”. I know in my mind no one is sitting there in their inbox refreshing and like “where is my newsletter from Nick?”. This is something that that at least in my mind I’ve committed to do every Thursday and when I get to it later or I don’t get to do it at all, that causes me some anxiety. And it’s kind of tough because it’s a business that’s always on, but it’s a business that I genuinely love to do. So, there’s all these projects I want to tackle. The bigger challenge is how to prioritize those and how to find the help to delegate where there is opportunity at the gate but it’s just I don’t know. I think I have a hard time really, really going off the grid because I have anxiety over like “Oh my gosh I haven’t checked my inbox in three hours” and stuff like that. One thing that’s helpful is just blocking off time on the calendar to get outside, take a walk with the dog and the baby at this point, go to the city with my wife, we still travel quite a bit. That’s definitely an area I need to improve on.
PW: I do too. And so, you know I’ve had discussions with other people about work-life balance and first of all I’ve already resigned to the fact that there’s no real such thing as work life balance. You’re just kind of finding a way to be smarter with the chaos there. That’s been my approach to it but in general I probably have some of the same anxieties that’s been somewhat self-imposed. Now I try to meditate a little bit or be still at my office at times and I go on 2-mile walks every day or at least I try. But honestly there’s no real way to pull out unless you’re going to pull out because I go on family car trips and you have a much different situation, you have a 4-month old which is alone a hustle within itself. And I mean the word hustle, the definition in every way because I have four kids so I understand – I’ve been there. You know at some point you do just have to break away mentally and I don’t know if I figured it out either and after speaking to all the entrepreneurs that I have and I’m sure you have, everybody has good ways to manage it but I don’t think anyone has found something to say “here is the silver bullet” because only Nick knows Nick’s time and you can only manage it in a certain way and you have to be at peace at what it is and who you are and what you’re going to be to the business. And that’s really what I’ve resigned myself to, right or wrong, right now. That’s kind of where I’m at Nick.
NL: Yeah, it’s frustrating to have all these ideas and then not be able to act on them. But in my new role there’s something that’s on my to-do list for more than three weeks without getting acted on. By definition I haven’t made it that big of a priority so it’s probably not likely to get done anyways so I just keep those super, super backburner, like in all Google Doc that I maintain but it’s like “ok I’m getting it off the list to rid myself of that mental clutter in the meantime”.
PW: But I do like what you brought up earlier which I’m a fan of too. You said “look I don’t get into Evernote and all that other stuff”. I don’t get wrapped up in the new Evernotes, I’m not saying there’s slack in Evernote and all that kind of stuff doesn’t work for people, I just try not to get wrapped up in it for the point that we’re talking about right now about unplugging and having too much noise to begin with. I try to keep it really simple with Google Docs myself. I try to work with my virtual assistant and tell her what I need and keep it there and just compartmentalize certain things. But I don’t need to add extra stuff because you’ll start having, you’ll have the slack app for the slack app and next thing you know you’re going down a very vicious dark hole. So, I’m careful with that too.
NL: Try to be mindful of the less is more.
PW: Yeah. So, Nick you’ve been awesome. Tell the people how they can reach you. What is the best way to contact you? They want to hear more about your podcast, where can they go? How can they reach you on Twitter? Feel free to share that.
PW: Nick you’ve been great. I appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.
NL: Thanks for having me.
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