Why Having a Million Dollars in Your Bank Account Won’t Make You Happy | Noah Kagan | Better Man Podcast Ep. 081

Why Having a Million Dollars in Your Bank Account Won’t Make You Happy | Noah Kagan | Better Man Podcast Ep. 081

Go up to any man on the street and ask him whether he’d like to have more money, and you’ll get the same response: Absolutely. 

But today’s guest, Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo and the OK Dork YouTube channel, woke up with a million dollars in his bank account, but was miserable. 

Despite his success from the outside looking in, his finances didn’t fill the void his work or relationships opened. That’s when he realized that your goals aren’t nearly as important as the systems you set up to make yourself happy and fulfilled.

The solution? 

Well, for Noah, it meant realizing he had the power to change anything in his life he wanted. 

And you know what? 

Even if you don’t have a million bucks in your bank account, you have this same power inside you, waiting for you to activate it. 

In this episode, Noah and I discuss… 

  • How to take your power back in every category of your life
  • Why optimizing for happiness and longevity is more important than long-term goals
  • How taking action right now now builds confidence and momentum
  • Why achieving your goals won’t make you happy (and what to do instead to be happy and proud of yourself today)

And more.

Listen Now.

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Show Highlights with Noah Kagan

  • The simple “Persistence over Resistance” mindset hack for conquering your biggest goals (2:10) 
  • How pausing instead of instantly reacting to negative situations helps you uncover the correct course of action (7:19) 
  • The “Now, not How” secret that crushes your limiting beliefs and keeps your momentum growing (12:09) 
  • How to take your power back—in your finances, your fitness, your relationships, and your work (23:43) 
  • Why taking action right now builds unshakeable confidence and unstoppable momentum (27:08) 
  • How focusing on systems instead of goals makes you happier, more fulfilled, and often more successful (30:17) 
  • Noah’s “Weekly Review” framework for self-assessment which has a profound impact on his happiness and success (43:28) 
  • How thinking of new activities and habits as “experiments” makes you okay with failure (46:01) 
  • The simple “GEBY” morning routine for enhancing almost every aspect of your life (56:09) 
  • How setting your gratitude bar as low as possible instantly skyrockets your happiness (57:10) 
  • Why playing “silly” games like chess or fantasy football minimizes your daily stress levels and prevent burnout (1:15:31)

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

  1. Order Million Dollar Weekend: If you’d like to read Noah’s new book, Million Dollar Weekend: The Surprisingly Simple Way to Launch a 7-Figure Business in 48 Hours, you can order it here: https://noahkagan.com/mdwbook/
  2. Follow OkDork on YouTube: If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for engaging, motivation, and fun content, subscribe to Noah’s YouTube channel, OkDork, here: https://www.youtube.com/okdork
Episode 081: Why Having a Million Dollars in Your Bank Account Won’t Make You Happy – Noah Kagan – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: What’s up, guys? Welcome to the Bedroom Man podcast. Today I am joined by somebody who I’ve followed for a really long time now. This is the fourth time I’ve asked him to be on the podcast and he said yes. After I stumbled into him at a at a lakeside bar slash grill. So this is Noah Kagan of Okay, dork.

Dean Pohlman: Employee number three at face or 29 at Facebook. We’ve got a lot of titles, but yeah anyways thanks for thanks for joining me.

Noah Kagan: Yeah man persistence beats resistance so it’s good to keep following up with the things you want. And I’m glad we’re able to have this conversation.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And gosh, I don’t know how to even start to introduce this, but I can talk about this a little bit more. But the reason why I’m so intrigued by by Noah and why I wanted to have you know, why I wanted to have you on the podcast is because you just you think about things differently. You, you know, I kind of noticed it when we first had a conversation and you were asking me questions about, you know, you started your own business.

Dean Pohlman: Like, is it how is it now? And you weren’t just looking to impart advice or like, you know, most people ask a question and then they’re like, they’re trying to set themselves up like, here’s let me prepare my response. And you were I thought you were genuinely curious in like my response. And so I thought you were just Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: And so that was the first time, you know, that was the first time we talked. And I could just like, wow, Noah’s like, This is special, dude. So.

Noah Kagan: So yeah, yeah, of course.

Dean Pohlman: So. So, yeah, I really wanted to have you on and just kind of get to better understand some of the processes, some of the habits that you set up for yourself. And, you know, obviously you’ve been able to have a lot of success doing that. And so yeah, that’s my that’s my intro. That’s what I’m hoping to get out of this.

Noah Kagan: But through it, sweet And you were saying, I don’t know if you want to include it on the show or not, but you were sharing that. You’re at your lowest number ever in your bank account.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. You know, I don’t I haven’t talked about finances on this podcast. I don’t know why I, I just don’t know if it, you know, I just I don’t know if I can explain why I have done it, why I haven’t done it. But yeah, basically I yeah, I hit a new record low in my bank account, first lowest amount since like 2019.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I had like I think 17, like 1700 dollars left or something like that. And I was just kind of watching, just watching it go down, like watching upcoming credit card payments, like, I don’t know, I hope this works. But yeah, you know, I don’t I didn’t have an accountant. I still don’t I’m still I have an accountant.

Dean Pohlman: I’m working on setting up some processes for myself. But yeah, I was just kind of watching, watching the money go down and not paying attention to some bigger purchases that we made and lent out some money to help out our our partner business and so, yeah.

Noah Kagan: That. But how are you feeling with that?

Dean Pohlman: Well, honestly, I’m okay with it because I just recognized that it’s kind of it’s just kind of part of the process and like, hey, this is a this is a learning mistake. This is something I can learn from. And, you know, I know the business is sound. I know that where, you know, we’re getting we’re getting new signups.

Dean Pohlman: We have new business, we have new initiatives. We’re working on creating new programs. We’ve got, you know, ads at the time of when this will be released, some of those programs will be launched. So, you know, part of it, I think the thing that I have to take refuge in is just faith in that this is working and that I’m doing the right things.

Dean Pohlman: And while you’re in the suck of it, you just recognize this is just part of the process and it sucks while you’re in it. But if you have been through the process before and you know, like, I’ve been through this before, I know that it’s going to get better. But like the part that I’m in right now just feels like it sucks and you can recognize that.

Dean Pohlman: Then it’s like, then it’s okay. And so.

Noah Kagan: You know.

Dean Pohlman: That also takes a fair amount of, you know, reflection and personal wellness practices to kind of work on that so that, you know, I’ve got a family now.

Noah Kagan: So yeah, man, I don’t want to say drinking like, there’s a solution called avoiding it. I mean, you know, the things that came to mind, I went to the grocery store and I was able to just buy they were buying olive oil, and I felt very luxurious that I didn’t have to worry about the price and that I didn’t have to worry about my money.

Noah Kagan: And it kind of makes you realize that everyone should be a millionaire, especially through entrepreneurship. And if you don’t like it, fine. But at least have that opportunity to decide if that’s what you want to be doing or not, and that that is part of million dollar weekend. And a lot of what I’ve struggled with myself to be able to get to this point.

Noah Kagan: And I wonder for you, do you feel because dude, having $79 my count like this is not this is going to sound really weird. I have millions of dollars in my account and I still get scared. I get scared all the time. I was scared on Monday. Yeah. And the reality that I. Which is crazy. It’s crazy. It was amazing to see.

Dean Pohlman: Like, would that give you is that of enough of a cushion like if if all of your income all of a sudden just disappeared Like would you be able to continue payroll and like all the other expenses that you have for your business for like months and months and months? Or would you be like, crap, I need a solution, or in three months we’re just going to like straight run out of money?

Noah Kagan: Yeah. So our payroll at up Sumo is $1.2 million a month. Okay. Which is like that means if we don’t, we have to make some money. I mean, I think a few things have come into place over the years that I’ve learned through experience, which is, one, do you have a plan or do you have some is what’s your plan?

Noah Kagan: And so we have a plan of a certain amount, at least six months of cash in the bank. So if we go zero, you know, how long can you, can you last? And so for me, preferably a B, two years, I think there’s better use of cash than holding on to it. But I’ve generally been very conservative. I think the other thing is that one, if you have a plan, then the second part is what you’re talking about, which is patience.

Noah Kagan: And I think a lot of times we get something happening and we react. In what I’ve come to find, it’s even more powerful is to pause, just pause for a second, get your plan in place, and then respond instead of being emotional and react, which I think is is is the first tendency that we have in these situations.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, there’s you know, it’s it’s nice to have these these situations because it forces you to think, I can’t just keep coasting with what I was doing. I have to try new things. I have to figure out how to do something differently. So in that sense, it’s great because you, you, you’re you know, you’re in that discomfort and you have to do something in order to get yourself out.

Dean Pohlman: But there’s also something to be said for being in a place of security and being able to create whatever you want just because it feels like this is going to be really cool. And I feel really inspired and really excited to, you know, create this project. So I there’s benefits to both the both situations. I find that when I’m in this, you know, cash crunch situation, I tend to get kind of frantic and I think of like, okay, I can do.

Noah Kagan: This, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

Dean Pohlman: And people on my team kind of recognize it and they’re like, Dude, you’re going to you’re going to burn out. You need to you need to chill.

Noah Kagan: So,

Dean Pohlman: But yeah, you know, having a, having I have an evening routine where I kind of just go out on my porch and I sit there and I just think and I just, you know, I, I also just kind of force myself into a gratitude practice where I say like, okay, I’m grateful that I have the control over the situation.

Dean Pohlman: I’m grateful that this situation has prompted me to think about things differently. I’m grateful that I have a team that supports me. I’m grateful that I have a wife who is supportive and, you know, ask me questions and is concerned about me and I’m grateful that I have time to go for a walk and clear my head. I’m grateful that my kids are healthy.

Dean Pohlman: And so I’m going through that process and and even also saying I’m grateful to have faith in the process. And then at the end of that all asking the universe like, hey, universe like help me continue to have faith, help me continue to have these sessions so I can practice gratitude and and realize the opportunity in the situation and remember that I have a choice in this situation.

Dean Pohlman: So, you know, and I don’t if I didn’t have those, I would I would fall apart like I would I’d be a mess. And, you know, having having a wife, having two kids, being the sole person who’s working, like that’s a lot of pressure. But, you know.

Noah Kagan: I’ve.

Dean Pohlman: I’ve gotten you know, fortunately I have those habits in place to help.

Noah Kagan: But but yeah, thanks for asking. So, you know, everyone’s everyone’s going through something. Yeah. Especially when you’re, you know, responsive for two kids and a wife. And I think there’s also the ego of people expecting, like, you have something, you’re you you should, of course, be able to succeed. And you’re like, Dad, this is a little scarier than I thought.

Noah Kagan: And, you know, again, I think that’s why I try to take a pause in these situations. And we’ve had it ups similar last year. We think we lost $500,000. And when COVID hit, you know, scary for a lot of things. And the best thing was pausing and planning. And then you execute that plan and you feel more most importantly, control.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. You feel like, okay, I know what the steps are going to take to help get back to where I want to be. How did you.

Dean Pohlman: How did you feel when you were going through Like you had the plan, though? You lost a few hundred thousand dollars. It takes months for the plan to actually start working. So, you know, what do you go through when you’re, you know, in that process where I’m in the point of the process where this sucks right now and we’re making it work, but it’s going to take a few months to like to actually start working.

Dean Pohlman: What do you how do you take care of yourself during that process?

Noah Kagan: How come it has to take a few months, you know? Yeah, I mean, I mean, the book is called Million Dollar. Yeah, the book is Million Dollar Weekend. It’s not Million Dollar decade. Well the well you’re I think that well I think, you know, one of the things in the book that has been the most impactful to people is just this idea of now not how so how do they just get going and making these changes once they have a plan very quickly.

Noah Kagan: And part of the book and why I was so excited put it all together is I think when you limit not I think when you limit your time in different things you want to do, whether it’s a business, whether it’s getting back financially, you’re like, okay, well, I have to do this in 30 days. I have to do this in 42 hours after this today.

Noah Kagan: And you just go, I’ve got to do it now. Let’s let’s worry less about how to do all this house stuff. You start releasing the power of momentum, you start realizing the power of action. So for for us with apps, you know, I mean, it was it’s scary. You know, you have this million dollar plus payroll sales are down they’re not on our projections.

Noah Kagan: So it was just really trying to understand what’s going on and then putting a financial plan in place. We call it a revenue walk, which is like, okay, we’re here, we want to walk to here. What are the different numbers we think can impact it on the top numbers to grow revenue? And then on the bottom numbers of our expenses, like do we have to do layoffs?

Noah Kagan: Like I cut my salary 70%. So and then it turned out, you know, I think this is the weirdest part about life. A lot of the best things that are happening to you is because of things you did in the past. A lot of the best things that are happening now is because a year ago and two years ago and five years ago I started doing something then.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And so that’s hard though, because in that moment you’re like, Well, what’s my reward? And so we did all these things 18 months ago in the business, or it could be in your fitness, like just starting walking or just starting. I’m a big cyclist. Just getting going. And then this year, you know, we’re. We’re most likely going to it’s not the end of the year yet.

Noah Kagan: We’re going to have our best year ever. So but that’s because 18 months ago, we started planning and getting ready for that because things weren’t going well. So it’s kind of funny how that those challenges led to much better times today.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that sounds like it’s a, you know, pretty long term to start seeing those results, though.

Noah Kagan: Hey. Yeah. Yeah, I, I do believe there’s a high correlation of like sustaining like if you can do anything for a long time, you’ll get results. And the important part of that though is you got to start it today, you got to get going. So what is your plan to get your money back? What is the plan?

Dean Pohlman: We without going into too many details, we, we basically need to figure out how can we provide more what we would call I mean, you know, what the term is called because you’re in the industry. But we need to how to how do we provide more mid-tier and high tier offers. So we basically have you know, you go to manual yoga dot com, you sign up for the web, you sign up for the members area in the app, or you sign up for the challenge.

Dean Pohlman: And from there we have yoga equipment. So you have your yoga mat straps. The yoga mats, the strap and blocks the the knee pad. But then beyond that, we really we really don’t sell anything else. So we have like some apparel. We have some you know, we work with some other brands, but it’s not really it’s a you know, people people think that because I have, you know, hundreds of thousands of followers that I’m like making tons of money from promoting other products.

Dean Pohlman: And like, I probably it probably accounts for like less than 1% of our overall income if that. So like, we’re not you know, we’re not making a ton of we’re not making, you know, really any money from working with these other brands, even though it takes a lot of our time. And that’s a lot of that is just failure on my part for just not doing it well, which is something to fix.

Dean Pohlman: But but yeah, for us we need to the plan is to how do I help people more with more of my time and more kind of intensive offers or more services as opposed to, you know, self-guided, where you log in and use the resources that we have and the guides that we have to follow. A chart of programs and you know how to navigate the workout library and find what you’re looking for versus how much do you want someone to actually kind of hold your hand and guide you.

Dean Pohlman: And so that’s what we don’t have, and that’s kind of where we’re trying to figure out, okay, how do we do more of more of that stuff? And I’ve just been I’ve been really resistant to doing that because it you know, it puts obligations on my calendar.

Noah Kagan: And.

Dean Pohlman: I like that I have a lot of freedom with my calendar right now. I like that I can, you know, just go for a walk when I need it. I like that I can finish work at 4:00 and mostly at 4:00, and then be able to work out and be home in time to take care of the kids when they get home or take care of.

Dean Pohlman: Marley is only six months old, so she’s she’s here all the time. But Declan’s three, and so he’ll be getting her from daycare about 530. So I like that. I don’t have to do anything. And I’m not working until like six and or seven at night. So, you know, the more obligations that I have, the harder that’s going to be.

Noah Kagan: And yeah, so, so yeah, it’s, it’s a yeah, sometimes I believe actually most of the time the thing that works is the thing that used to work. And so I wonder in your business and I know for App Sumo and I came back and I had all these grand ideas of new things we could do it or business you know software deal site and the reality was that I just went back to doing the thing we did initially that people liked us for, and I did it really well with our team mate.

Noah Kagan: They ended up executing on it, but I had all these new ideas. I was like, We should try this, Try this thing. And then the customers are like, Yo, that sucks. We don’t want it partners with like, give us more money, Partners like, just give us good products, good deals, good prices at sumo. And you know, it’s kind of like million dollar week in this book that this podcast is going to come out around January 30th I think ideally yeah, yeah book jobs and same kind of concepts, you know and I wonder if for you, instead of maybe creating something new, is there something old and you know, and starting a business, it’s ultimately how

Noah Kagan: do you give something that people are excited to pay you for? So I wonder what you’ve done historically that you could maybe revisit or do more of. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So that’s actually that is one thing that I really hope at the time of this podcast release that we’ve we’ve already launched what I’m talking about right now so it doesn’t come out is like, what are you talking about if someone listens to this? But yeah, so something that I used to do before we launched our, our members area is and this is actually I mean this is this is really the only way that we made money is we did one on one or a group video classes.

Dean Pohlman: So we did stuff in real time. And you know, when I first started, I was doing one on one. It was basically personal training, but it was via webcam and we were doing.

Noah Kagan: You.

Dean Pohlman: Know, they were doing, yeah, just video workouts or in real time. And there was just one person and I would sell like a pack of five or like a pack of ten, and then I’d probably do 12 of those a week. I also had some in person group classes or one on ones. And so I was basically a personal trainer and I was using the money that I was making from that to kind of build the website and build up, you know, the online business, which is what I’ve always wanted to have.

Dean Pohlman: And, you know, paying the people that we had working with us to build the website and work on search engine optimization and, you know, built a lot of just page design and it’s a lot of things that go into that. And we also didn’t we weren’t really making money on it until we started the members area. It was kind of we would do one off programs and, you know, we’d make a couple of thousand dollars and if we broke even, we were like, Wolf, we did it.

Dean Pohlman: We broke even. But but yeah, that’s how we first that’s how I that’s how I started. That’s how I, you know, eventually was able to create all the infrastructure that was the members going. The app was just doing one on one stuff. And then that got to a point where I just didn’t have the time to do.

Noah Kagan: That.

Dean Pohlman: Realistically. So. So now we’re starting to figure out, you know, we’re starting to look back at that and figure out, okay, how do we get back to helping people with their technique? You know, that’s that’s the big reason why people like Man for yoga compared to other types of yoga aside from the inside, from the fitness focused, male focused workouts and programs, it’s people like that I’m very in-depth technique.

Dean Pohlman: What should you be doing with your knee here? What should you be doing with your shoulders? How should you feel in your back as you’re doing this? And, you know, so putting together a program right now, I’ve actually just launched it this morning, the interest list. And within 30 minutes we actually had five people sign up, which is.

Noah Kagan: Pretty cool. All right. So yeah, you know me.

Dean Pohlman: That’s not even that was in 30 minutes. So, you know, hopefully we have many more people than that sign up over the course of the next couple of days. But yeah, that’s going to be a group technique feedback online session. We’re calling it the virtual studio. So, you know, that’s one thing. We’ve got a retreat that’s going to be that would have been in November, but we planning on doing a couple more of these.

Dean Pohlman: These are pretty intensive retreats, not just yoga, but also physical wellness, emotional wellness, which is kind of the whole goal behind this Betterment podcast, is to talk about men’s health in a way that isn’t just, you know, work out, look good, do your job, come home, be a dutiful father, go to sleep and feel good about it. You know, it’s also like, hey, you have emotions, too.

Dean Pohlman: Let’s actually you know what’s actually address those. Let’s make sure that you’re happy. Let’s make sure that you’re not just, you know, slogging through life as a stoic because, you know, you want the honor of being a, you know, a dutiful man. But let’s actually make sure that you’re.

Noah Kagan: A.

Dean Pohlman: Happy, fulfilled and healthy man as well, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. So that’s kind of what that the those retreats are. We try to get more into that and we’ve got some pretty cool speakers coming do that and anyways, so.

Noah Kagan: We’re a.

Dean Pohlman: And just just to keep rambling about this, there’s I think so by.

Noah Kagan: The way, it’s your show man rambling away.

Dean Pohlman: I think the other really cool thing that happened just within the last couple of weeks is because this happened, we’ve had to start thinking about how do we do things differently, and instead of looking at things like, we can’t do that, we can’t do that, I’ve done enough of this over the past couple of weeks that now I’m looking at all these different ideas thinking, we can do that, we can do that, we could do this, we could do that.

Dean Pohlman: And you know, with the feedback that people are giving me that they’re like, Yes, I want to try this program. We’re kind of sending out like beta program invites right now. And people are saying like, Yeah, that sounds great. How do I how do I pay like one guy just for fun? And he’s like, How do I pay?

Dean Pohlman: Like, what’s the next steps? He was so excited, you know? So it’s really cool to see the positive feedback from this, and it’s encouraging me to think, What else can we do? Like, what else are we not tried yet or have we not been doing because we just thought it wouldn’t work.

Noah Kagan: Or.

Dean Pohlman: I wouldn’t be able to do it my schedule.

Noah Kagan: So yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So thanks for coming on podcast. I appreciate your.

Noah Kagan: Questions about myself, but you know, I’m reading this book Learn to Optimism, and it’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. And one of the biggest takeaway is that me and my buddy Adam Gilbert and you know, from my buddy Twitter.com, one of the biggest takeaways just in general is just how do you take your power back in all these situations, whether it’s finance, whether it’s in your fitness, whether it’s in your relationship, whether it’s in your work.

Noah Kagan: You know, million dollar we can is a lot of our work. And it’s also about your life. And it’s like, how do you take more ownership and optimism in changing situations is in the book basically shows through real experimental science that you can learn optimism, you can be more positive. And I think I’m coming from a Jew, I’m a Jewish person and we’re like default, cynical of everything.

Noah Kagan: And, you know, my mom is scared of everyone and people kidnaping or stealing from us all the time. And, you know, to change that and to optimistically like, hey, everything’s going to get better, hey, things are going to be better and I could make it better. I have the power to make it better is a really great opportunity for everyone out there, you know, and and your fitness starting with yoga.

Noah Kagan: Starting with I did yoga last night. Yeah, Last night, Yes. And so whatever it is, you have power to make these changes. And you can also start it right now. You know, very small doesn’t I think sometimes we think I want to be a millionaire. I want to be a six pack like Dean. And it’s like, Yeah, you want that, but just want that stopping you from just starting right now.

Noah Kagan: Today and realizing you can have power in these and these different situations.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I actually just read.

Noah Kagan: Edith.

Dean Pohlman: Came over her last name, Edith Eagle. She is a Holocaust survivor, Hungarian psychologist, Jewish. But she wrote a book about the whole book is literally about like taking taking back power. I’m going to I’m going to look it up right now because.

Noah Kagan: It is author.

Dean Pohlman: Psychologist.

Noah Kagan: Edith Agar.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, Slovakian born American psychologist, Holocaust survivor. Her book is called The Choice. And it’s about like recognizing that you have a choice in the situation. And if she can do it and she went through Auschwitz, then, you know, we can probably do it, too.

Noah Kagan: You know.

Dean Pohlman: So but I like what you said about not I like how you said now, not how, because that’s also something I’ve been really thinking about a lot and something that I, I, I encourage people so much with their fitness because, you know, everyone wants to wait for, you know what? I’m going to be done with this project next month and then I’ll start working out or like I’m going to be, you know, whatever.

Dean Pohlman: It’s going to be easier for me in the summer. So I’m going to wait a couple of months and then I’ll start. And I’ve been even recognizing that in my own life with concepts like, you know, been talking about money. So, you know, I’ve been recognizing like, I’m just going to wait until I make a little bit more money and then I’ll start saving.

Dean Pohlman: And, you know, I talked with a financial advisor recently. He’s like, Yeah, I’ve spoken to so many people who are in their forties who are living paycheck to paycheck and have just like, you know, 40, $50,000 in expenses a month. And they’re not saving anything because they are just they’re in that mindset of I’m just going to wait until I make more money and then I’ll start saving.

Dean Pohlman: And so if you can recognize I can do something now, and it might even be small, right? It might not be like the full generation of what you eventually want to do. But if you don’t start that now, you’re you’re never going to you’re just going to keep putting it off until there’s a better time.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And, you know, it sounds like for all of it that now not how is putting $1 in a bank account now to how is doing one yoga plank for what, 5 seconds or whatever it is it’s you know, posting one thing on social media. I think people are surprised that the the confidence, the momentum that builds just by taking action right away.

Noah Kagan:

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. It reminds me of the the the Mark Manson that there’s a lot of good stuff in that book. But the one thing that I take away from the the subtle art of not giving a giving enough is the the idea of inspiration doesn’t motivate action. It’s like action inspires motivation. So recognizing that, you know, you can’t just sit around waiting for inspiration and then go do something.

Dean Pohlman: But instead, if you just take some sort of action that inspires that motivates you to.

Noah Kagan: 100%.

Dean Pohlman: Action.

Noah Kagan: 100%. Yeah. So if we’re going to talk about next.

Dean Pohlman: I want to well, I want to ask you about some of the I remember seeing I also, by the way, guys are listen to this. You know, like, who is this Noah guy? I remember you launched your YouTube channel. When did you watch your YouTube channel or get serious about it?

Noah Kagan: Three years ago. Three years ago.

Dean Pohlman: And I so I saw no, I saw Noah’s YouTube channel on starting and he had like 10,000 subscribers. I was like, that’s cool. And then I just checked this morning and set 943,000. I suspect that you’re going to hit a million in like two months, three months, maybe.

Noah Kagan: You know, enough. I don’t know. You’re not on my it’s not my goal. It’s not what I’m optimizing for.

Dean Pohlman: Not poking around in the YouTube studio analytics, but I go.

Noah Kagan: There either every day. It’s just not what I. I think people need to think about what they’re optimizing for. It’s a great question to use in life, and I’m optimizing to make content for ten years and my content specifically for underdogs and inspiring people and business journeys. And when I build, I believe we get overly focused on near-term goals.

Noah Kagan: You kind of burn out and you kind of quit versus I just really love making content. I like inspiring. I like who I get to meet and so how do I sustain this? And so for a million or four at 900,000, I don’t care. Okay.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s, and that’s what I was leading that into. I was going to ask you, you know, a lot of these I think you think about things differently than a lot of people and like, you know, this is instead of thinking about, well, I want to get a million subscribers, you’re thinking, you know, this is the actual vision.

Dean Pohlman: And I’m curious, how do you how do you start with a vision first set of goals instead of thinking like, I want to make $20,000, you think I want to you know, this is the vision. This is what I want to this is who I want to help. And I’m wondering, where does that come from? Where does that come from?

Dean Pohlman: Or like, what does that how does your brain work?

Noah Kagan: So I’m trying to ask now the because I’ve done it the other ways and it didn’t work. So I’ve had it be like, I want to make $1,000,000 and I got $1,000,000. And it’s very it’s awesome, by the way, to be rich. It’s great. Everyone should be much happier rich them poor, but it doesn’t really change No one.

Noah Kagan: There’s no ceremony. I thought you get like a band and confetti, but that didn’t happen. Same with six pack. I got a six pack. I spent months insanely disciplined and I got this outcome and I was like, I look around and I’m like, I’m hungry and I don’t feel good about myself. I want to talk. And I did.

Noah Kagan: That’s actually what we’re having for dinner. And I love my girlfriend. Shut out, Shut up, Maria Fernanda, for tolerating and loving me for how much Mexican food I and and what I’ve realized is that even ABC sitcom, as we were building this business, you know, it was like, how do we ten every year? How do we double every year?

Noah Kagan: How do we go super big? How do we sell? You know, I’m from Silicon Valley, like I worked for Zuckerberg. I work for these big visions. And what I recognize for me is that longevity is actually the most appealing and the most successful. If you look at pretty much studying any type of success in almost every aspect, it’s someone who’s stuck with it for a long period of time and figuring out what that is for each person.

Noah Kagan: So for me, with content creation, I’ve done it where I was at 50,000 subs, I went to 100,000, 100,000 to a quarter million. And so I’ve actually found kind of like we talked about now, not how instead of being so consumed with getting to some end goal, just be consumed with making good content that I’m really proud of.

Noah Kagan: And yes, I have a goal, but the goal is so small and it’s something very achievable that I actually do way better than the goal itself. So for instance, this year I think I think I was trying to get I honestly don’t remember, but I think we were trying to get 250,000 subscribers and we were at 550,000 at the end of last year.

Noah Kagan: And so we only wanted to get an extra 200,000 and I think historically I’d be like, No, we need to get 2 million or a million, and that can help you and you get there and then you’re just like, okay, I’m here versus focusing on the systems, the process, the inputs. I don’t people seem more excited about the million than I am because I’m not.

Noah Kagan: I’m proud of it. I’m very proud of what we do. I’m proud of this. But I’m just excited that I’m putting out content that I’m like, this is cool. What a good video. I love watching my videos. I think we should be more proud of the things we do for ourselves and it wants me to it helps me inspires myself to continue wanting to do it versus trying to be so consumed with just the destination.

Noah Kagan: Now, I do think goals are super helpful. Now, you asked how to get a vision. I asked my therapist a few years ago and in the reality I recognized that we overcomplicate visions. Visions are just what’s our dreams, What’s a crow dream? And the reality is, is we talked about optimism and power. Everyone has the power to live whatever dream they want.

Noah Kagan: And that’s so inspiring, that’s so exciting. And if you’re not excited about your dreams and your lifestyle and you’re living that, you know the greatest part about it, you can change it now. Right now you can. And that that’s inspiring for me. That’s gets me excited. Like for many years I was just sitting around like on the sidelines, like getting rich because someone was running my company and I was kind of dabbling in different stuff.

Noah Kagan: And I found the two things that really gave me purpose. And around all this was just find the thing you really love, whatever that is. Maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s content creation, maybe it’s gardening. It doesn’t have to be entrepreneurship. I think everyone should do entrepreneurship to learn about themselves and see if it’s for them, but just do something that they enjoy.

Noah Kagan: And then the second part of that is just do it hard work, do very hard work around it. Like I’m up, you know, it’s going to be 9 p.m.. I’m finishing in Barcelona and I you asked me if I, if what happens if we didn’t? I mean, I don’t have to make any more money ever again in my life, which is crazy, but I like it.

Noah Kagan: I’ve enjoyed this and it’s hard and I’m proud. It makes me proud of myself. And so I think that is how you think about your dreams, which is like, what would be cool dreams to do? How do I get going on it and how do I put in the work that makes me proud of myself? And, you know, I think at the end of our time on this planet, like pretty good.

Noah Kagan: Pretty good.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, that that all sounds awesome. I like that. I love that you.

Noah Kagan: Are.

Dean Pohlman: Talking about the importance of longevity instead of having short term goals, because I actually made a really I made a really, really boring title in this presentation once that said, how to create a fitness focused lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable, which like nobody that was like is just such a mouthful that like, you know, I’m sure there was a guy sleeping when I was doing that talk.

Dean Pohlman: It was not it was not the right audience. This is a this is a very, very poorly selected audience. It was at a it was at like a health conference, like a like a public health conference in just a tiny suburb. It was it was a poor decision. But but yeah, like, it’s so important to do something sustainable and do it long term instead of doing it as a means to an end.

Dean Pohlman: And I love that you found something that, you know, you really enjoyed so much that you can do hard work with it, but, you know, I’m assuming you don’t feel, you know, do you feel bad about doing that much hard work or does it does it feel you know, does it feel like draining? Does feel exhausting? Do you finish like I just really don’t like what I’m doing or does it feel good?

Noah Kagan: I went to a conference and it was a small it was a small like 15 person workshop and it was by Gay Hendrix’s wife, Gail. He wrote The Big Leap, which is a phenomenal book, on being able to go to that next level of your life, which we all, I think all of us believe we all want some some are there, some are not.

Noah Kagan: And she she talked for three days straight, 8 hours a day do that. And I remember she was sixties, seventies. I remember feeling so exhausted. I was exhausted. But it was it was life changing, was powerful. I was just like, what a cool way to just kind of dig into your future. And I went up to and I said, How do you do it?

Noah Kagan: How do you just do? Actually, the facilitation. I think that was my biggest thing about the whole event was just like, you’re 60, 70 plus. And she’s like, This gives me so much energy. I love this. I love it. And it goes both ways. Right now, I want to save some for your, you know, your husband and your father.

Noah Kagan: I’m I’m single, but I’m in a relationship, a very committed relationship. I want to come home with something left. So work wise, I’m pacing better versus just the past. We’ve had some struggles where I come home and I’m like, I just gave everything. I’ve got nothing for you. She’s like, Well, okay, that’s that’s hard for us to sustain.

Noah Kagan: And I think the other call that I would make so that that’s one piece of of how much to how to feel. The other thing is in your you know you’re obviously in fitness I was double checking your channel.

Noah Kagan: I think the other thing with me is how do you practice business but it do it through your fitness. How do you practice life through things that you control. And so it’s nice and I cycle I’m going cycling in the morning, I practice suffering. I practice feeling good about myself. I practice seeing a lot of positive things to myself on a bike.

Noah Kagan: And then it’s easy. Then I say, I know I can do this, then I can translate into other areas. So on, on the bike I generally try to kill myself. Yeah, it’s, it’s intense. It’s. It’s.

Dean Pohlman: You get to choose your heart.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And I, I don’t negotiate. I don’t excuse myself and, and the other side of that though and I think this is not talked about enough and I don’t think it’s encouraging if I’m on the bike more than usual, just really reinforcing how good I am, reinforcing that like I’m worthy, reinforcing that.

Dean Pohlman: Oof, I just got a tingle from that.

Noah Kagan: I feel like.

Dean Pohlman: I started doing that to like a like a month ago I went to a, a social media influencer kind of retreat and we did. Like you ever done this where you have someone who ask you questions and gets to the like, gets to does like, have you heard of the seven Whys exercise?

Noah Kagan: I think so. It’s like the Toyota thing.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, this is a Toyota thing, I think. But it’s more so applied to like your personal motivation and basically they ask you questions and you get to like, you know, you get to like your childhood trauma. They interview you into the they kind of ask you questions and they dig deeper and dig deeper. And so you get to like your what’s the childhood trauma that you have?

Dean Pohlman: Like, what is this? What is the little boy inside of you? Like, what does he want? Like, what is he Not yet. And you’re just like, you’re just you know, I’m just like, sitting there and I’m doing it and I’m like, it’s getting deeper, It’s getting more uncomfortable. My chest is tightening, and then I just start crying and like, this is it.

Dean Pohlman: And like, for me, it’s like it’s this, this feeling of self-worth. And so, you know, I think that I have to do all these things that I have to be more successful, that I have to make more money, that I have to be more fit in order to be worthy of being loved, in order to, you know, enjoy what I’m actually doing or to be present at home.

Dean Pohlman: And really all I need to do is like, step off the hamster wheel of like, pushing myself so hard and just recognize I have it. It’s right here. I’ve got my family, I’ve got like, you know, I’ve got everything that I need already. And so something that I’ve been doing in my cold punching instead of getting in there and thinking, you’re going to prove everybody wrong and you’re going to I’m just getting in there and I’m like, I’m worthy.

Dean Pohlman: I’m worthy. I’m good enough already. I don’t need to do this. I’m not doing this for anybody. I’m just like, you know, And so I love that you’re practicing that control in your life and even saying things like, you know, you know, just telling yourself that you’re worthy in it. That’s so cool.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, I was you know, I don’t think I think every human has doubt. And doubt is generally a protection mechanism. And it’s not because they’re going to have anything. It’s there to serve you. It’s literally so you don’t touch fire. And I think at other times it hurts you. And so practices that build up confidence, practices that help us feel good about things, practices that reassure us.

Noah Kagan: And the biggest part, the number one point of all of it, is it needs to come internal. Every time I go external and I’m like, if I beat this person, if this person’s better than me, it’s like it’s kind of a wavering confidence versus, okay, how do I keep building up the stacking compounding to my internal confidence and things like biking, things like going and doing videos that I’m proud of personally.

Noah Kagan: Like, I don’t really care if they get a lot of BS. I’d like them. I’m proud of them when they do. But personally I’m very proud of if it’s a video that I just watch over and over or that’s, you know, like are they great products that I’m excited to tell people about or at this book, Million Dollar Weekend.

Noah Kagan: There’s nothing else like it. I was I read it. I’m like, did we really put this together? Is this really going to change people’s lives? Like on how they view entrepreneurship themselves? Making money? And it is. And it’s like, yeah. I’m getting more and more people to find the thing they enjoy and then do hard work around that.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And yeah, sometimes you leave it on the table and sometimes you don’t.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that book has been in my heart. No, it’s been on my, my, my list of cause it’s been like I preordered it and like meh or whatever. And so it’s, it’s shipping out in like January. But if I don’t have any other orders that are being fulfilled. So it’s best been like the top of my orders for like the last six months.

Dean Pohlman: So every time I logged.

Noah Kagan: In, I’m like,

Dean Pohlman: Noah’s book is coming, Noah’s, I’m.

Noah Kagan: Coming to your house. Dean I’ll just be at your house.

Dean Pohlman: That would be awesome. That would be.

Noah Kagan: The other one day. Let’s see. So hosting a yoga class? No. And Dean we like gross extra chest hair on our on that episode.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s a that’s a that’s part of what happens.

Noah Kagan: By the way, that.

Dean Pohlman: That was my first experience. That’s that’s when I met No is I got I got I don’t know how but I got invited to this group workout with with Ron and you know Jeremy Jeremy Hills who now has have you been doing.

Noah Kagan: Elective But it’s awesome.

Dean Pohlman: Cause it’s awesome gym awesome concept for a gym. He also started a footwear company and it.

Noah Kagan: Really.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah and he has and he used to play college so he has like connections to you, play football in college. So he has connections to all these different, you know, professional athletes. So his, you know, you see his footwear in the NBA, in the MLB, in the NFL, like he’s he’s plugged in a lot of places. So it’s really cool to see that.

Dean Pohlman: And then C.J. Finley has a thrive on life and that’s I think that’s that’s growing and doing well. So obviously Ron has continued to grow and.

Noah Kagan: Do runs and Monster, I’m so proud of, of Nathan. Those guys.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah they’re they’re awesome And that’s.

Noah Kagan: Actually that’s all.

Dean Pohlman: Pretty much where we’re in them right now.

Noah Kagan: I know I was like Shoutout rounded sponsored video.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah yeah I think we’ve I think we mention them a couple of times or at least few times in these and pretty.

Noah Kagan: Much framework them stop mention him get them sponsoring I was.

Dean Pohlman: Their brand ambassador last year and then the they kind of phased out the program. I don’t I don’t I don’t think I did as well as like quite one of them do now they’re doing kind of like a grassroots ambassador program which which.

Noah Kagan: Is which is pretty cool, too. So. So yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So one of the thing that I saw you one of the things I saw from you is.

Noah Kagan: I think you just.

Dean Pohlman: Have some of these these self-assessments that you do on a regular basis for yourself. And I’m like, that’s that’s a really cool idea. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? And do you still do those the like, what are some of those things you do?

Noah Kagan: Yeah, I think what’s fascinating about different people’s frameworks or theories is how long they’ve been worked on. And so for me and different things work it for different people and at different times of their life. The thing that I found and I’ve used weekly for the past three years, I’ll do it in the next hour and a half.

Noah Kagan: It’s called my weekly Review, and this has been the the best self assessment I found. I haven’t found anything that works better than that for myself or and when I mention to people, people, I was like, shit, I’m going to copy that. I’m like, Great copy. So it’s three things that I do, and it comes every single Friday.

Noah Kagan: I get a reminder on my calendar. Number one, it says, How was your week one, three, five? What made it that number? Number two was my behavior consistent went through five and that’s more for myself. I just want to have I found the older I get, I want as I interact with people. I don’t want to be overly emotional.

Noah Kagan: I don’t want to be surprising people. I want to be a consistent leader. And then the last question is, what are the three things I want to work on next week? Do this every single week done over the past three is over three years, at least three years. I do that and I found that to just be a great way to to reflect on what did I spend my week on what I say.

Noah Kagan: I want to spend it on, how do I feel about myself, and then what I really want to focus on the upcoming week and that will that leads into my assistant helping plan and prioritize different meetings or canceling things as I move into next week. I’m going to do that every week. And then you can also see rankings like, How have I been trending this year has been a it’s been a good year.

Noah Kagan: Nice.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, it sounds awesome. Remember also seeing you? You were obviously dating somebody else at the time, but you have like, my God, we just fell.

Noah Kagan: We lost. Or you killed Kenny.

Dean Pohlman: We I think, well, we’ll survive. But the other thing, I saw this clearly. You were dating someone else at the time, but you had this perfect boyfriend mentality.

Noah Kagan: Do you still. that was a funny. Well, let me give context on that one. There’s different productivity strategies that I use and I found effective in running a company and the book and YouTube and all the different things going on. This is a girl that it wasn’t working out very well for us. And this actually applies in business in a lot of different things.

Noah Kagan: A lot of people want to be entrepreneurs and they want to be rich. And what they do is they go to the pool and they put in the toe like, Yeah, I don’t know if I want to do the swimming, but it’s like you’re only putting in a toe. Like, how do you know if you like swimming or not if you don’t get in the water?

Noah Kagan: And so the, the framework or tactic that I found helpful is just do have an all in mentality and but as an experiment. So experiment all in and I think when you think of things in experiments there’s less risk on yourself. If it fails, you’re like, Well, it failed. That’s okay, I’m trying it out, but you can’t try it out by sitting on the sideline.

Noah Kagan: You can’t try it out with the toe and you have to jump all in. And so I think experimentally is helpful, very helpful in business because it reduces your ego. And in this relationship, it was an okay relationship. It wasn’t what I really wanted. And I said, Well, let me experiment being the perfect boyfriend for the next three months and see how it feels and see if this is Silver Lake you want to be in.

Noah Kagan: And it I appreciated that I committed. I think a lot of times in life our struggles come from indecision and the the lack of willingness to commit to something. And I committed all and experimented with it three months and then I was like, nope, let’s break up. Yeah. And I think that mentality, you know, with this girlfriend I’m in now, I do them, I flew to Barcelona to be, it’s 7:00 and I’m meeting you and I’ve got meetings till nine and I’m committed to it.

Noah Kagan: But it’s not that I, I don’t have to do this, I want to do it with her, I don’t have to experiment. I, it’s been, I’m committed to the whole relationship and I think that’s just good to do in general. But that was an older one that.

Dean Pohlman: I think it’s I think it’s I like that you brought up just the idea of in experiments. And also, you know, you mentioned it, you didn’t say specifically, but you did it as you gave it a timeframe. You didn’t say, I’m going to go all in forever. You said I’m going to go in for three months.

Noah Kagan: I was the perfect boyfriend. I did everything did. I was a great boyfriend for three months. And then and then it’s like, okay, well, am I getting what I need in this relationship now? I’m good. Let’s make that call. Move forward.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, but I love that you put a time frame on it, and that’s just like, you know, we mentioned this. This is something that doesn’t have to just apply to relationships. It applies to tons of different things, and it’s hard for us to conceptualize forever. But if you can put thing into like a, a three month or like a two month or even just like 28 days, it’s easy for it’s much easier to say, I’m going to do this for 28 days and then see how it goes instead of having this, you know, this lifelong.

Dean Pohlman: Instead of having, you know, the idea that I’m just going to do this forever, I’m going to do five, I’m going to eat perfectly from now on, I’m just going to have a clean diet, period, and stop forever. And if you can say instead, I’m going to have a clean diet for 28 days, then you’re like, yeah, that’s that’s like more manageable, you know?

Dean Pohlman: So what are some other what are some other what are some other some other weird things that you’ve okay or things that you’ve done have meant.

Noah Kagan: It’s, it’s been interesting to recognize that as I am older, I’m 41 now. I want less new things. I want more. Let me give you a for two weeks I was just in Greece. I was on a yacht and I was in Santorini. It was this great is great. I shot. This is going to sound shocking. I was very happy just to be back at home.

Noah Kagan: I was happy here at home. And I live in a 600 square foot apartment with basically one bedroom with my girlfriend here in Barcelona. And I was just like, my God, I’m so happy here. And it’s that’s a 180 from the past where I wanted to be traveling more. I wanted to be novelty. I wanted to all these things.

Noah Kagan: I wanted to experiment all the time. I’m it’s nice to get to a place where I’d like, you know, what are the what are the core components of life? What is it? It’s your work yourself and. It’s your relationship. And I’m at a position like, Dude, I fucking love all these three things. And it took, you know, I’d say 18 years to get here.

Noah Kagan: I would have preferred giving myself advice to try to get there sooner. We can talk about that. But it was just doing so many things over so many years and I was like, man, this is nice. That I’m happy with my consistent, sustaining longevity life versus trying to keep chasing. I think that was a mentality of trying a bunch of new things all the time.

Noah Kagan: And so, you know, in the past, you know, trying to get up early, you read these different stories about what people do and you try a lot of different things out. And I think, you know, ideally you just them out faster so you can get to the place that you’re actually content with sooner. So what did I do in the past And I try to well let’s go back.

Dean Pohlman: To the Chase and things like why were you, you know, you talked about you wanted to experiment, you wanted to, you were chasing things. What were you, what was the void You were trying to what, what was the need you were trying to satisfy?

Noah Kagan: I wanted to feel content that there’s not something else out there that I’m missing. And the the answer for the crazy part for everyone is that the thing nothing is out there that exists that is going to help complete you. But that’s not that’s not as sexy as giving someone, I think, to go do. It’s actually just figuring out how can you be at peace with yourself.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And so what I would recommend for anyone out there is look at these three core areas of your life. How is your work? And, you know, four, three years is going to sound crazy. I was making millions of dollars and I was sitting on the sidelines and I was just really unsatisfied because I wasn’t doing any work, that I was hard and I was just dabbling.

Noah Kagan: And when I got back to work by, honestly, look out and it sounds kind of crazy. It’s like, Dude, you’re rich and like, isn’t that the dream that most of us want? Like, no, most of us want to feel good about what we do. And you feel good when you work on something. And it was like, I fucking like this work.

Noah Kagan: And that it got thrust back to me. And so just look at these three categories. Your relationship. Are you proud of yourself? It’s really hard to be someone you that would want to be with you if you don’t like who you are. And that’s for me. Therapy relationship coach. You know, business coach is working on myself in a lot of different areas and it’s like, you know, even to this day, there’s still times there’s definitely times I have doubted them on Monday and then you just keep working on and get better and better.

Noah Kagan: And then and that makes me feel good about who I am. And then finding partner that, you know, as you found a wife, a partner who really elevates me, I think I found a lot of partners who were just available. They were just available, which great. And I appreciated that. But it was finding someone that I’m like, Holy shit, how lucky is this to be with someone currently and ideally last for a very long time?

Noah Kagan: That’s really challenging me, but also supporting me in positive ways. Yeah. So I would have everyone evaluate those three areas and try to understand like, okay, are they all good? Great. And then can you just be okay with that too, that there’s a point where things are going well and like, it’s going well. And so I think the idea that I was always looking externally that something is eventually going to make me feel better, a book, a course person and reality is just finding how do you get to that level of peace within yourself?

Noah Kagan: You know, I think yoga is one of those things that most people do when they’re feeling sad, like I do every time someone starts yoga. I’m like, You just broke up and like, Yeah, I just broke up. But the reality, I will say, like, I did yoga yesterday, I found it. I was like, I just to go, I want to be able to stretch because I cycle, I want to stretch my legs.

Noah Kagan: And then secondly, I want to be able to lose consciousness in the sense of thinking about work and thinking about what’s next and thinking about what’s dinner and any activity that can eventually, yeah, really be present. People say that I’m like, What do you mean? Right? It’s like being in a place where you’re really not consumed with the past or the future.

Noah Kagan: You’re just kind of like, I’m putting I’m doing this movement here and you’re here now. Yeah, yeah, right here now. So, yeah, yeah. I’m not chasing. I’m not chasing, which is nice. I mean, it’s nice. And you have to you have to remind yourself of that. It’s easy on the YouTube stuff. More followers or money stuff, especially if money’s low.

Noah Kagan: It’s easy when you know things are going well. But that’s also a time to, as we said, just begin to show put together a plan. All right, How am I going to get my business fixed? How am I to get my job fixed? What am I going to do this weekend? I got a chance this weekend to change that.

Noah Kagan: What am I doing by myself? Like everyone could be more fit if they want to feel about themselves. And doesn’t mean it has to be so absolute. Sometimes everybody’s so absolute. Now you’ve got to do all this. It’s like, now do. David Goggins. No one wants his life. And I don’t, I don’t. I don’t like his message.

Noah Kagan: It’s like too extreme. There’s no balance in it. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: And yeah, the Jocko Willink, the David Goggins of the world, it’s like there’s, like, you know, most people are not ever going to to have that level of discipline and, you know, be able to be happy.

Noah Kagan: You don’t want that level of discipline. It’s not actually enjoyable. I would say I think discipline is great. I love my discipline and I love my willpower. I’m like, But we all have different disciplines of willpower over like I have super discipline over desserts and you get fucking through dessert all over me or I take a bite and fine.

Noah Kagan: But I love alcohol like I love alcohol. So like tonight I’m like, I can have a beer, I have a mark, and I have all this stuff. And you know, it’s not it’s not bad. I just know that about myself. And I think my point in general is that I think a lot of my behavior historically has been all or nothing like is David Goggins.

Noah Kagan: Jocko will next. And I think that’s a chasing mentality. Like, okay, I’m all in on this. I’m 75 days of no nothing. I think it’s good to kick start something and get momentum or change it up. But the reality that I found is that I’m much more content. I’m much more stable and much more peaceful. When there’s it’s not black or white, it’s not zero one.

Noah Kagan: It’s like one through a million or one through infinity.

Dean Pohlman: So, so going back to, you know, the three core areas of your life, what are some of the you know, what are the some of the favorite practices or consistent habits that you had when you were working on yourself, where you still are? But like, what were some of the most transformative?

Noah Kagan: Yeah, I would say one of the ones, you know, a few different things. One from the book that I’ve seen Change People’s Lives is called The Freedom Number. So find out what number you need to be able to do the work you really want to do. And a lot of times it’s small. My number is 3000. Everyone has a number.

Noah Kagan: So just thinking about your number is the second framework that that I’ve used that I still to this day it’s been about 15 years called Gaby and Gaby has been a it’s been a good framework for me and whenever I’ve mentioned it, people seem really impacted for it. So it’s gratitude, exercise, breakfast, you and it’s just a small thing that every morning it’s like, what am I grateful for?

Noah Kagan: So I have a, I have a note pad on my phone and I just write every single day. So I’m grateful. And I have a reminder that just shows up. So you tell Siri, remind me every morning at 9 a.m., tell them to write me down. So like, what did I write down? I wrote yesterday that we can sleep in late.

Noah Kagan: The stupider the better I find. And then, you know, some exercise, even if it’s just walking. Have a good breakfast that you’re excited about, even it’s coffee and then have one thing each day that you’re looking forward to. And every morning I guess now it’s subconscious. It’s a bit, you know, habitual. But the Gaby framework is is really helped and sent me up to date and, you know, have pretty damn good days.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, I, I scribbled.

Dean Pohlman: Set your gratitude, Barlowe, as you were saying that.

Noah Kagan: the super salad or the better off the whip. Dude, My favorite one is, like hot water. I don’t think people understand how cool, hot water is. Like, it’s a it’s a thing. You literally turn and lift up and it’s heated water coming out. Where’s the water come from? Right? Yeah. Magically, it turns on go turn on your water anyway.

Noah Kagan: So like that microwaves. I fucking love microwaves. Most of my food is cooked in a microwave like I would eat just off microwave and I could like. It’s amazing all the things that we have, the fact that we have legs, the fact my one of my other men don’t get me going on gratitude stuff because I think we, we, we have it.

Noah Kagan: It’s sometimes it feels so big that we’re like, I’m not grateful for this. And it’s like, it’s okay for hungry for that. That’s okay. But I’m grateful all the times I can lift my pants up after I use the toilet every time I put my pants. And I’m like, There’s going to be a day where you’re not going able to pull your pants up and someone’s going to do it for you.

Noah Kagan: And maybe I’ll actually like that. Be like, Dude, I should have done this all along. Like, I should just hire someone to pull my pants back up.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, you just switched. But this practice, you just say, like, I’m grateful someone has pulled my pants up now.

Noah Kagan: Thank you, Susan. Thank you so much, Stephen. I hired different people to do that. Yeah, So those are those are nice moments. And I think the other. Yes, different practices. I think you have to have a dream that’s very clear within a timeline. So I don’t think you should have extreme dream extreme goals because I think that really prevents sustainable city and it’s also sometimes demotivating and I see them from, from.

Dean Pohlman: Confidence.

Noah Kagan: Now. And so I found having very clear outcomes I use for categories, that’s what works for me. Everyone should have a different whatever works for them, but for me it’s work what’s what’s working out personal and then living slash travel and if you have those were categories and have very, very concrete goals for the year, you’re like, okay, cool.

Noah Kagan: Every week, like I know where I want to go and at least I have something directionally that I can look forward to accomplishing. And one of the biggest realizations from AB Sumo and Million dollar Weekend in the different things I’ve been able to work on now is that if you’re not excited about these different things going on your life, fucking change it.

Noah Kagan: And I think with have similar, I was just kind of like riding shotgun for a while. I was like, okay, you know, it’s like, No, what the fuck do you excited about for the next? Like, so we worked on a vision for the next three years and it’s like, do this great or me with this book and promoting the life out of it because I’m so proud of it.

Noah Kagan: I’m like, I’m looking forward to people finally like you getting it in their hands, being like, shit, that’s a cool little framework or tactic I can use for my for getting my business going or growing it. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So I had a question and I. Dude, it’s.

Noah Kagan: Going to come. No, you’ll come right back. It’s coming. Yeah. Do you want it? I’ll give you a tactic where you’re thinking. Yes. You want a tactic? Yes. Whenever someone’s like, Hey, what’s that restaurant? And they think about it. Don’t don’t take it from them. Let them think about it and don’t let them use their phone. I always find a lot of joy when I’m like, Hey, just think about it.

Noah Kagan: Like let your brain do its job. Like, don’t. Don’t go to waste. So think about that for, like, restaurants or movies or books, like, I don’t know which one it was. And you tell them you like, tell them what it want is, or you don’t let them think about it, for they just go and use their phone and like, I can have some patience here.

Noah Kagan: Pause. Okay.

Dean Pohlman: I’m going back through my mind.

Noah Kagan: To come of It’s going I got a tough question for you, if you want a tough question. Yeah. How do you deal that Your YouTube videos don’t seem to be doing as well? And that’s just my perception and what I say. Well, what I mean is that I’m guessing you’re putting out similar your videos are really high quality.

Noah Kagan: It doesn’t seem to be getting this. Just my external brief view. They don’t be getting as much views as they historically have.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I think we put out I think sometimes I put out videos that so actually just so this video is actually like our top This is from the last time videos were released. This is the this is the number one video we’ve released recently. So I think this topically. I think I just have a lot of subscribers honestly, because of certain videos that are sex or penis related.

Dean Pohlman: And so I get a ton of subscribers from those videos. And then if I don’t put out more sex videos or how to grow your penis videos, then you know, they just don’t perform as well. So that’s like, that’s the that’s the basic truth.

Noah Kagan: But you don’t want to do those type of videos.

Dean Pohlman: How do I deal with that?

Noah Kagan: You know, do you want to do more of those types of videos?

Dean Pohlman: I mean, I can do we do have some more of those videos coming out next month.

Noah Kagan: It’s not I.

Dean Pohlman: Mean, it’s interesting or it’s it’s it’s fun to see like how well a video does. But it’s not what I want to be creating. So I think my YouTube channel is kind of a a balance of here’s a video that I think is going to really going to help somebody and is I’m making with somebody from my app or a member’s area or my community in mind versus, okay, we know that this video is going to do well if we make something about, you know, dysfunction.

Dean Pohlman: So let’s make that it’s going to help, you know, create an overall boost in everything. So let’s make sure that we’re kind of peppering in that content on a regular basis. So, you know, and I know how to make I know how I know how I can make content better, like I know how I can get more views.

Dean Pohlman: But it’s balancing that with, well, I’m getting more views for what? Like if it’s just me putting out thirst traps, like, is that going to get more? Is that going to make me feel better about themself? Is that going to help us help more people? No, it’s not. It’s just going to be a vanity metric. So, you know, I know that I could be getting more views, but also I know that, you know, I have to.

Noah Kagan: You know, I have a.

Dean Pohlman: I have a goal with my content. And, you know, I’d rather be hitting the message with my content than just getting more views, getting more subscribers. So.

Noah Kagan: Yes, those are the quality. I think that’s a great callout where just because you get something has a lot of views doesn’t mean it’s actually got a lot of customers or a lot of engagement. That’s why I don’t give a shit about Tik Tok. Yeah, I’ve a I’ve got like three posts.

Dean Pohlman: I have I have like 9500 followers on TikTok because we’re trying to trying to grow that and I think 95% of those followers came from three different post that just randomly, you know, went viral. One of them was stupid and required absolutely zero effort. One of them was a lot of video editing that involved the clips from 20 different videos.

Dean Pohlman: And then I think another one is just like from a trending, it’s just a trending video and I’m sitting in, you know, my living room in a dark living room with terrible lighting. And yeah, it doesn’t make any it’s yeah, it’s I don’t know.

Noah Kagan: So the Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Well I don’t remember what I was going to, what I was going to ask, but I do have a question about what did, did you have any, you know, kind of painful lessons that you learned sometime between leaving Facebook and starting apps, you know, where you had you like a significant shift or you started doing things differently or, you know, just kind of really influential negative at the time, you know, perceivable in negative way at the time, but in reality was something that helped you grow and change for the better.

Noah Kagan: There’s two pieces I remember getting fired and realizing that everyone is replaceable. That was a good lesson learned very early because more people than more people think they’re special than they are. And realizing we’re not is a good ego check. Very early on in my career, I was very lucky to experience that. So get fired everyone, realize you’re replaceable.

Noah Kagan: Or if you work at a company, figure out how do you become more irreplaceable? Like, Hey, if they fired me, what would break and get a lot of things to break? If you get fired or don’t go break them intentionally. But if you leave, like, how does it come to lose money? How does a company get hindered? Second thing I would say is go find someone to support your weaknesses.

Noah Kagan: So I and embrace who you really are. So I love promoting, I love marketing, I love products, I love all this stuff. And I liked doing that on Facebook. I didn’t like a lot of this other meetings, some of the tech stuff. I do like tech, but I didn’t want to do all the tech stuff and it was nice to find a partner.

Noah Kagan: My business partner, Chad Boyda, who provided a lot of the outside shit that I’m like, I fucking hate doing that. He’s like, I love doing that and embracing more of who we really are and being okay with that. I felt more embarrassed and ashamed and I like doing this blogging. I like talking about products, I like making websites for customers, and I didn’t feel like I could really embrace who I was at Facebook and it was nice to finally be able to do that with my own company.

Noah Kagan: I think more people, you know, take that that opportunity if they can, and not anymore to take that opportunity. It’s more realizing to embrace who you are. I think a lot of people take that lightly. They’re like, I don’t know, this is me, but I should just do it now. Let your freak flag fly, you know, like, yeah.

Noah Kagan: And I think that that’s been able to I feel very lucky and I’ve put in the work to be able to make a lot of money doing exactly what I want to do.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s.

Noah Kagan: That’s so cool. So it’s so trippy. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I mean, I think there’s, you know, there’s a certain level of privilege that comes with it. Obviously, like, not everybody can go find somebody who can do all the things that they won’t do when they’re first starting out. The other part of that is I think we feel like we have to strengthen our weaknesses, like we have to if we have something that we’re not good at, we’re like, okay, well, if I if I just work on it, I can be better it I can shore up the sweetness and and I read a read a book recently, had a guy on the podcast I can’t remember the title of the book, but one of

Dean Pohlman: the things is just about embracing who you are.

Noah Kagan: And.

Dean Pohlman: Recognizing that a problem doesn’t exist unless you name it a problem. So if you’re looking at yourself and saying, I don’t do this very well, I’m going to fix it. As soon as you do that, you’re creating the existence of the problem when in reality it didn’t need to be a problem you could just say like, this is who I am, this is what it is, and leave it at that.

Dean Pohlman: So I think there’s a lot of power that can come from that, but it’s balancing that with the societal expectations that we have to be good at lots of different things and

Noah Kagan: You know, so that’s hard. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s hard when the rewards that feel negative for being who you are and then giving yourself patience and persistence to find how to give yourself positive reinforcement around who you are. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. What are your tips on that? What’s what’s.

Noah Kagan: What’s worked well for you? One, do something physical because you can control it. And I think that’s what I always think about in business, where when you’re dependent to kiss someone else’s ass, it’s it’s hard when there’s there’s variable there. So physically, you have a lot of control about going for a walk or doing a push up or doing a sit up or doing anything.

Noah Kagan: And you can feel good about yourself. I think the second thing is finding accountability, buddy. I have a Adam Gilbert who I mentioned earlier. I talked to this guy every single week for 28, 15 years and find someone in your corner to be your mom. My mom fucking thinks I’m best ever. And, you know, I’m like, whatever.

Noah Kagan: And but find someone that when you’re feeling a little bit lower confidence that maybe I’ll tell you. Adam’s also said, Hey, yeah, you’re being a little bitch. Noah. Really? He’s like, Yeah, you’ve been a bitch. You need to step up here. And I was like I thought, You’re my friend. He’s like, That’s what I am. I am your friend.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. And so who’s in who’s in your corner that’s really challenging you and supporting you in finding someone like that. Everyone’s got someone. It could be if it’s not your parent, there’s online groups. There’s I’m sure you have a customer base of people that have that can chat with each other. There’s people we have it up sumo that help each other or this million dollar weekend.

Noah Kagan: We have these like we have a private Slack group for people who are on our launch team and just find it in one person and, and it is nice to come home in my face. My girlfriend is like, Man, you did so great. I’m so proud. I’m like, it’s nice, nice. You know, when I’m doubting myself to have that reminder.

Noah Kagan: Yeah, those are definitely two things. And I think lastly, you know, we were talking how do you improve your self-confidence? How do you feel improve your positivity, do something? You know, it could be a physical, not just physical, but do something that you create that is yours, that you feel good about yourself. So that doesn’t have to be business necessarily, but it could be a piece of art, it could be a video, it could be something craft like a table, it could be a business where you go and sell your neighbor lawn care.

Noah Kagan: It could be starting a new software company. It could be selling a service like a yoga yoga one on one lesson, but something where you’ve done something that you created that you feel good about what you created, Not necessarily if the other person accepts it or not. And I think those are those are things that have consistently and controllable made me feel good about myself.

Noah Kagan: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Those are all totally actionable things and.

Noah Kagan: It’s great advice.

Dean Pohlman: All right. We’ve got the part two. So I got my rapid fire questions cleared.

Noah Kagan: Yes. All right.

Dean Pohlman: What do you think is one habit, belief or mindset that has helped you? The in terms of your overall happiness.

Noah Kagan: One habit, belief or thought that’s controlling overall happiness? I think the one number one that I’ll I’ll say is take your power back. And this is a phrase I talk about again with Adam, and it’s just really taking your power instead of being a victim, instead of being a whiner, instead of complaining about what what isn’t like my employee did this this you two that is not doing well.

Noah Kagan: This person like even with this book, Million Dollar Weekend people I’ve known for 15 years aren’t kind of refusing to help. And it’s like, okay, that’s fine. I believe in this book I get to keep moving forward. And, you know, rejection in general is really a test of how much you want something. And taking your power back is a reminder that you have a lot more ability to change our situations than we realize.

Noah Kagan: And just I think about that a lot and like, am I taking my power here or am I giving up my power? Like, for instance, on our YouTube channel, two people are are quitting. And it’s like, okay, I’m, I can just sit here and complain and sulk or all right, how I’m happy for them. I want them to be somewhere they want to be and how do we move forward to get other people that are going to be even better for where currently at and where we’re going?

Noah Kagan: And it’s just that phrase. I can take my power back, take my power back and asking if I’m doing that in these different circumstances.

Dean Pohlman: That reminded me of the question that I had earlier and do get it.

Noah Kagan: I do have to go and but until 3 minutes, 4 minutes.

Dean Pohlman: It was going to be about that. And I’ll.

Noah Kagan: Hit it.

Dean Pohlman: But for me, I tend to see gatekeepers in my life, like I see gatekeepers in my home life. I see gatekeepers in my business. I see gatekeepers like everywhere. And I struggle to realize that I’ve put those gatekeepers in place and that I can also change the situation. Do you do you struggle with that all, or is that like does that’s just not something that.

Noah Kagan: That struggling with gatekeepers.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, not like not like calling someone and saying, I need to speak with Bill. No, you can’t speak with Bill, right now. But like actual gatekeepers in your own life, like, like for me, I think I struggle with my family life where I’m like, Hey, I want to go do something this weekend. And my you know, my wife will say, Well, you can’t go this weekend because we have this thing going on in something like, I get mad.

Dean Pohlman: But I also realize like, I could do it if I wanted to. I’m just scared of the result. So I have like these little you know, I have these little gatekeepers that I’ve set up throughout my life and personal and business, too. And that was in question. I don’t know if you can speak to that at all.

Noah Kagan: My suggestion is to think about how come you leave alone, label them as gatekeepers. And I think that’s something I reflect on. And the other question I would ask is like, how are you giving these gatekeepers more power over you and how come you’re giving them power over you? There’s a question from a book called Reboot, which I like and I think about.

Noah Kagan: It’s like, how are you complicit in creating the situation you say you don’t want? It’s a little bit complicated, but the simplest version of saying that is like, how how come you’re giving these gatekeepers power over you.

Dean Pohlman: Right? And how do you take your.

Noah Kagan: Power back and how do you take your power back in the situation?

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And ultimately, there is a reason why you’re doing it. Like there’s something that you’re protecting and you just might not even be aware of it, though. Instead, you might just be angry that you’re like, I can’t do this because this like, Well, is that really what’s happening? All right, quick questions. What’s one thing you do for your health that you think is overlooked or undervalued by others?

Noah Kagan: I have a water bottle on your desk. Okay, cool. I just have a I have it on all my desks, every one a minute. And just cause I have my fuck, I guess I’ll drink water.

Dean Pohlman: If I send you a man for yoga yet. What would you use it?

Noah Kagan: what kind of you? It’s.

Dean Pohlman: It’s just like a water bottle, you know? It’s like that’s cool, sexy, sexy. A water bottle.

Noah Kagan: Send it to a customer. I have a bunch of yetis at home, but I appreciate the offer. Thank you. All right. Fair. No, thank you. I just. I just. I don’t know. Those are expensive.

Dean Pohlman: It’s okay. It’s marketing. What do you have a regular stress relief activity that you do? And what is it?

Noah Kagan: Playing a game. So either chess or fantasy football. Okay. Also at home, I have a pinball machine. So pinball. nice. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I asked you this already. You do regularly reflect or analyze yourself. You do that every week, every Friday. What’s the most stressful of your day to day life?

Noah Kagan: I do Also. There’s a book called The Artist Way, and I do morning pages every Monday morning, and I have done that now for years. They recommend you write it every single day. And I found that just Mondays are the most helpful for me. So it’s kind of like start my week on journal, finish my week kind of journal and there’s structure to both and we don’t have time for both.

Noah Kagan: But the most stressful part of my week, I think when is back when it’s back to back meetings from 2 to 8 or 9 p.m. and I want to go home and be with my girlfriend. That’s a that’s a.

Dean Pohlman: That’s a good thing to be stressful about that. I mean, yeah.

Noah Kagan: It’s just I want to be home and like, you know, even tonight we have dinner plans. I got one more thing after this. And a little bit more work. Yeah I think that’s definitely stressful. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I mean, it’s good that it’s not. That’s a good that’s like something legitimate to be stressed about, though. It’s good that it’s not like something that is like that. Your relationship is the most stressful or like you’re, you know, like something else. So I think that’s a from the answers that I’ve received, I think that’s like a cool that’s a good thing.

Dean Pohlman: That’s like a legitimate business. I’m glad that that’s what it is.

Noah Kagan: There’s like a book. It’s like the good side of stress. I think it is. What’s it called? There’s there’s a book and you don’t read it. So upset of stress. But basically it’s just like, how do you how is stress a good thing and what is stress doing for you? I think there’s good and bad stress. And so how do you look at what’s a good one to embrace and maybe the bad one?

Noah Kagan: Can you cut it? Can you avoid it? Can you distract it? Can you not? You know, if you’re an alcoholic stay out of the bar. So if you’re stressed in certain areas and you can you can’t stay out of it, you know, figuring that option out. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: All right. Last question. You made it. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing men and their wellbeing right now?

Noah Kagan: Knowing who they really are and finding that out the hard way. Yeah, Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I agree with that. It’s a I’m reading a book right now, but the Covert Depression and Men and a lot of it is just about like your. Yeah, a lot of it has to do with that concept. But then having to go through depression, having to go through various forms of substance abuse or addiction to, figure out, this isn’t what’s going on or this isn’t who I am.

Dean Pohlman: And then.

Noah Kagan: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: It’s fun stuff.

Noah Kagan: Yeah. All right. All right.

Dean Pohlman: Thank you. Know, I really appreciate it, guys.

Noah Kagan: And good luck out there. Yes. Million dollar weekend dot com. There’s all the things we talked about in my income. All these things are we have free resources There at Million Dollar Wycombe. Yeah. Yeah. Sweet. All right.

Dean Pohlman: Thanks for listening, guys. I’ll see you in the next episode.


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