What do the most successful people all have in common?
Are they smarter than everyone else? Do they work harder? Are they just luckier?
In this episode of Deconstructing Success, we’ll talk to someone who has an answer to this question…and I’d bet a lot of money that it’s not what you think it is : )
As the founder and host of the massively popular Mixergy courses, masterclasses and podcast series, Andrew Warner has interviewed over 1,000 entrepreneurs…
…including the founders of companies like AirBNB, Wikipedia, Reddit, Dropbox, yCombinator and Zappos, to name a few)…
…asking them uncomfortable questions to dig deep into their success and failures.
I asked Andrew to come so we could learn more about his story, experiences, habits and influences.
And I also wanted to discover what some of the biggest lessons he’s learned from doing those 1,000+ interviews.
Were there any patterns? Any “major keys? Any shortcuts?
And he gave me even more than I was hoping for!
I was first introduced to Andrew back in 2009, when he interviewed me for an episode of Mixergy and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
Some of the things you’ll learn in this wide-ranging interview are:
- how to overcome information overload
- the best way to tell someone they’re wrong
- why believing in yourself can be a “million dollar difference”
- lessons from Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jason Fried, Barbara Corcoran and other inspiring guests.
- what to do when you burn out and stop being creative
We cover all of that (and so much more) in this exclusive interview with Mixergy’s own Andrew Warner in Episode #5!
- Get it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “Save As.”
5 Big Things You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- What happened when someone offered him $1 million for something and he asked for $2 million because he believed he was entitled to it.
- Why he believes that everyone should care about their legacy and what you can do about yours.
- The biggest takeaways and greatest lessons he learned from:
- Seth Godin, Author
- Mike McDermott, FreshBooks
- Barbara Corcoran, SharkTank
- Catherine Minshew, The Muse
- Brian Chesky, AirBNB
- Jason Fried, Basecamp
- Salman Khan, Khan Academy
- Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia
- Ryan Hoover, ProductHunt
- Laura Roedher, Edgar
- Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia
- The one (surprising!) trait that every single one of the most successful people in the world have in common. Andrew gives examples of this trait in action for people like Gary V, Brian Chesky and others.
- The simple ways that Andrew overcomes information overload by focusing on stories and not just facts and lessons.
5 Big Questions I Ask Andrew in Our Interview:
- Did she give you two-million dollars?
- How do you overcome limiting beliefs in your life?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- With your first company, how did you go from success to selling to burning out?
- Should we share our failures and vulnerabilities with other people?
5 Fast Facts About Andrew Warner:
- Andrew is the founder of Mixergy, a site where founders help each other by telling their stories and teaching what they do best.
- He once said that he created Mixergy in part because, “…in my 20s, with no outside funding, I co-founded a business that reached $30+ million in annual sales. Mixergy is the source I wish I had.”
- Before starting Mixergy, he was a 21 year-old who created a $38.5 million dollar business by returning his J.Crew clothes* (the QuickSprout story mentioned in the interview).
- That company was also known for launching Grab.com, an online game site that offered the chance at the world’s first billion dollar jackpot.
- FUN FACT: Andrew was the person that urged me to start the Deconstructing Success podcast, gave me advice and what I have learned from Andrew and his IYH team has been instrumental in getting this project off the ground and our initial traction and success!
Complete Show Notes:
- Why Andrew makes up something “really boring” when someone asks them what he does…and why he tells doctors that he’s a reporter. [4:35]
- What happened when he discovered the word “entrepreneur” as a child and how it changed his life forever. [6:00]
- Andrew talks about the ineffective marketing “strategy” he used with his first business (that was based out of fear) and why it led him to vow to “never punk out on selling” again in his life. [6:42]
- Why he and his brother kept trying different businesses and ideas. And how growing his mailing list led to his first major business success with online greeting cards. [7:33]
- Why he believes that he’s “nothing” unless he’s something great and wants to measure up to people like Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. [8:58]
- How terrible insomnia as a kid led him to reading all the time and helped him discover “Think and Grow Rich” which changed his life and gave him an “identity”. [10:05]
- What happened when someone offered him $1 million for something and he asked for $2 million because he believed he was entitled to it. [12:24]
- Why not being able to come up with creative solutions made him realize that he had burnt out and wasn’t enjoying his life anymore and the image that sent him out on a different course. [13:25]
- Why he forced himself to sleep on the floor of a girl he just met’s house despite the fact that he had just sold his company and how this simple experience changed his life. [14:40]
- How Andrew Carnegie, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates influenced him to focus on giving back and leaving a legacy. [18:00]
- Why he believes that everyone should care about their legacy and what you can do about yours. [20:00]
- Andrew and Chris discuss how acting like you know what you’re doing and “acting like you deserve it” leads to being allowed to do things that most people aren’t able to do or aren’t “supposed to do”. [25:00]
- Andrew issues an interesting challenge… [27:20]
- Why he loves interviewing people, what he gets out of it and why interviewing Rosalyn Resnick helped him realize something big. [28:00]
- How Neil Patel pushed him to be more open and how this changed Mixergy and Andrew forever…and why he thought he was going to get kidnapped as a result. [29:00]
- The best way to tell someone they are wrong, how Dale Carnegie and Basecamp’s Jason Fried helped him learn about this…and why Chris should sometimes be more direct with his questions :) [31:35]
- The biggest takeaways and greatest lessons he learned from each of the following successful entrepreneurs:
- Seth Godin, Author [33:30]
- Mike McDermott, FreshBooks [34:59]
- Barbara Corcoran, SharkTank [35:43]
- Catherine Minshew, The Muse [36:42]
- Brian Chesky, AirBNB [37:12]
- Jason Fried, Basecamp [37:59]
- Salman Khan, Khan Academy [39:22]
- Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia [39:59]
- Ryan Hoover, ProductHunt [41:02]
- Laura Roedher, Edgar [43:21]
- Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia [44:39]
- The one (surprising!) trait that every single one of the most successful people in the world have in common. Andrew gives examples of this trait in action for people Gary V, Brian Chesky and others. [45:53]
- And how this trait can be developed and experienced for anyone in business. [48:14]
- How a listener’s wife taught him about overcoming limiting beliefs and “invisible scripts” by asking questions. [50:07]
- The simple ways that Andrew overcomes information overload by focusing on stories and not just facts and lessons. [51:35]
- Why Ira Glass’ advice about sticking with something until your abilities live up to your “taste” is something that changed his life and approach to work. [53:54]
Links Mentioned in This Episode:
- Napoleon Hill
- Think and Grow Rich
- Andrew Carnegie
- The Men Who Built America (A&E Biography)
- “Gates Foundation to Get Bulk of Buffett’s Fortune“
- Rosalyn Resnick
- Johnny Carson biography
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Ira Glass on Storytelling (video)
Learn More About Andrew:
One Question for You to Answer Right Now:
How do you overcome “information overload”? Leave a comment below with your answer.
One Last Thing…
If you enjoyed listening to this episode of my new podcast, then please support the show by leaving a subscribing on iTunes. It’s easy and takes about 30 seconds to do!