There are two kinds of people in this world – the dreamers and the doers. The dreamers live each day thinking of the life goals they aspire to bag, while the latter kind does that and in addition to it a lot more. Walt Disney summarized the “secret of making dreams come true” as a blend of “four Cs – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy” .One such young man who discovered and worked on his own secret to success is the self-made millionaire, Neil Patel.
The Entrepreneur magazine describes him as “one of the top entrepreneurs in the nation,” while Forbes attests that he is “one of the best online marketers out there”; The Wall Street Journal too declares him to be “one of the top Influencers on the web”.
Neil was born in London (April 24, 1985) and raised in California, as his parents decided to relocate when he was two-years-old. He states their early struggles abroad, to be no different from that of most first generation Indians. His mom began her career from a “non-paid teaching gig” and soon progressed into starting her own home day-care business that despite being successful did not fetch too much, while his dad worked for one of his uncles. They then, like most of us today, lived a regular middle class life. That is when Neil realized, that if things continued being the way there were then, he and his sister would never live a “rich” lifestyle. However, at that age all he could do was to think of ways to make his “rich” dream come true.
During his first year at John F. Kennedy High School, the entrepreneurial seed inside him began to sprout and following the footsteps of his older cousin (who sold burned music CDs to students) Neil began a gig of his own. What made Neil’s business boom amongst his freshmen class was his touch of originality (excluding the sale of pirated media). In no time he was counting dollars, and expanded into a more profitable venture of selling black boxes. He quantitatively purchased these online and sold them not only to his classmates but also their parents. This allowed him to fetch a significant profit.
At the age of fifteen he found himself his first “real” job that he worked for three months, being paid only a few cents per hour. Neil then progressed into the role of a vacuum salesman, this dint promise a steady income but a glittery commission of few hundred dollars on every successful sale. Attempting to nail this, he “went door to door, trying to convince home owners” to allow him to clean their carpets for free. One instance he shares, states he “shockingly” sold a vacuum to an Indian couple but they returned it soon after. “Realizing that an average American could not afford to buy a $1,600 vacuum” he set out yet again to look for better career opportunities.
Perhaps this was his first step on the ladder of growth. His sister who was then working for an oracle consultancy and through her Neil learnt about the enormous amounts such consultancies charged client companies. This triggered the entrepreneur inside him to come out yet again. In early 2000 after spending $5000 his first venture ‘Advice Monkey’ (based on monster.com’s business model) came to life. To market this he “hired a few marketing firms but got ripped off instead”. Attempting to save his business, the teenager himself began learning internet marketing and soon became an ace. It was the result of one of his speeches on search engines in college (as a student) that landed him his first client – Elpac Electronics. Eighteen-year-old Neil used his skills and helped them drive “over 51% of their leads from the web” soon getting them “ranked #1 in Google” search, thus he began his own internet marketing company.
Growth Hacking – Neil Patel – Pioneers Festival 2014
On hitting a few roadblocks and a couple of bad investment decisions (costing him $1 million) Neil partnered with his (now) brother-in-law and began Crazy Egg – heat map tracking analytics that despite being “crazy delicious” did see its highs and lows. With his learning’s from Crazy Egg, Neil stepped up his game and brought out Kissmetrics that he has been working on ever since then, to turn it into a “billion dollar company”.
Over the years, Neil faced numerous barriers that stood in the way of his dream, but it is the true spirit of an entrepreneur that only burns brighter after every hurdle he encounters. “Do something you are passionate about, because it won’t feel like work and this way you will work harder and longer” his words are true to the T and most of us too are fully aware of this, yet for some reason hesitate to chase after our dreams.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Small Mistakes That Keep You Poor: My Interview With Neil Patel
Sharing the roller coaster ride of his life, he strives to inspire others to ‘do something with their lives’. Faith in his own abilities and passion towards what he does have enabled Neil to be recognized not just as an entrepreneur who helps some of the biggest global companies, but as a young man who worked his way into becoming what he dreamt to be. Follow his blog and reach out to him to find ways to turn your dream venture into reality.