1,032 episodes

Leveling Up is a weekly interview series with entrepreneurs and marketers on the latest in business and marketing. Learn actionable strategies & tactics on how you can make your business grow and mistakes to avoid during your journey. Learn from individuals who have founded billion dollar companies to best-selling authors. Entrepreneur and host Eric Siu also shares insights and learnings along the way.

Leveling Up with Eric Siu Eric Siu

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 294 Ratings

Leveling Up is a weekly interview series with entrepreneurs and marketers on the latest in business and marketing. Learn actionable strategies & tactics on how you can make your business grow and mistakes to avoid during your journey. Learn from individuals who have founded billion dollar companies to best-selling authors. Entrepreneur and host Eric Siu also shares insights and learnings along the way.

    How He Cracked the Money Making Secrets of Wordpress | Syed Balkhi

    How He Cracked the Money Making Secrets of Wordpress | Syed Balkhi

    Syed Balkhi and Eric Siu discuss the power of compounding and the importance of maintaining friendships with other high performers. Syed shares his philosophy of giving unconditionally and compounding goodwill, emphasizing the need to avoid the frustration coefficient that can hinder progress. He also shares insights on the power of compounding, the challenges of passing on generational wealth, and the value of learning from historical patterns. This conversation provides valuable lessons and perspectives for both aspiring and experienced investors.

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/O5VhhH0Aky8 

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:


    (00:00) Syed Balkhi defines himself as a blogger who helps people build better websites using WordPress.


    (01:18) Syed Balkhi discusses the concept of running a profitable business every year to achieve a continuous exit.


    (04:41) Syed Balkhi explains the value of masterminds and peer groups for personal and professional growth.


    (04:58) Syed Balkhi advises teenagers and young adults to start building a network by following people they admire.


    (06:03) Syed Balkhi discusses the different benefits he gains from various mastermind groups and forums.


    (08:49) Syed Balkhi introduces the concept of the frustration coefficient and warns about its negative impact on decision-making and relationships.


    (09:59) Syed Balkhi advises practicing radical candor and addressing frustrations directly to interrupt negative compounding.


    (13:29) The power of compounding goodwill and giving unconditionally.


    (14:43) Going deep instead of wide in networking and learning.


    (19:56) The driving forces of incentives and insecurities in human behavior.


    (20:47) Two driving forces shaping human behavior: insecurities and incentives.


    (24:59) The importance of empathy and aligning goals with team members.


    (26:07) Viewing acquisitions as a more lucrative alternative to paid media.


    (30:46) Being known enough to have influence while maintaining anonymity.


    (31:05) The story of Syed Balkhi's father working at a gas station.


    (33:22) Syed bought gas stations as a backup source of income.


    (36:40) Syed's negotiation philosophy: no emotional attachment.


    (38:17) Syed emphasizes the importance of staying frugal.


    (39:46) Syed Balkhi shares his strategy for offsetting new expenses with investments.


    (45:15) Syed Balkhi shares examples of investments he made to solve problems in his own businesses.


    (46:31) Eric Siu and Syed Balkhi discuss the potential rise of pay per task pricing models.


    (47:28) Syed Balkhi and Eric Siu talk about the adoption window for new technologies.


    (48:40) Syed Balkhi advises against overestimating one's ability to turn around businesses.


    (52:11) Favorite Mungerisms and Buffettisms.


    (58:41) Recommended books: "Psychology of Money," "Atomic Habits," "Same as It Ever Was," "Clear Thinking," and the Thompson trilogy.


    (1:00:02) Lessons from the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families on passing down generational wealth.


    (1:02:35) Find more about Syed Balkhi online.







    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here


    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes


    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed


     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     

    Growth Everywhere

    Single Grain

    Leveling Up

    Eric Siu on Twitter

    Eric Siu on Instagram


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 7 min
    The $300M Founder That Lives on a Farm and Flies Planes | Nathan Barry

    The $300M Founder That Lives on a Farm and Flies Planes | Nathan Barry

    Nathan Barry, founder of ConvertKit, shares his journey from software designer to content creator to software founder. With ConvertKit now sending 2.5 billion emails per month and generating $40 million in revenue, Nathan discusses the power of building an audience and leveraging it to create long-term enterprise value. He also delves into his passion for flying and the parallels between flying and entrepreneurship. Nathan emphasizes the importance of having goals outside of work and optimizing for the journey rather than just the destination. 

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/vuwfio0Uw4Y 

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:


    (00:00) Nathan Barry introduces himself and his journey from software designer to software founder


    (02:57) Nathan Barry discusses his passion for flying and the process of getting a pilot's license


    (06:43) Nathan Barry expresses his goal of using flying for both personal and work-related purposes


    (08:14) Nathan Barry discusses the limitations and considerations of owning a larger plane


    (09:49) Eric asks Nathan about the payment structure for the pilot.


    (12:30) Nathan talks about his podcast and the journey of building an audience.


    (14:02) Nathan shares the story of Mark Sisson and the value of redirecting audience attention to a product.


    (15:08) Nathan explains the power of an audience in promoting and selling products.


    (16:03) Nathan discusses the success of Mark Sisson's Primal Kitchen and the value of an audience.


    (18:19) Nathan talks about the three rules for building an audience and creating enterprise value.


    (19:46) Nathan shares his experience building ConvertKit and its long-term enterprise value.


    (20:05) Nathan Barry and Eric Siu discuss the potential of agencies as successful businesses.


    (21:25) Nathan Barry shares his perspective on monetization options for creators.


    (25:52) Nathan Barry talks about the current growth and future potential of newsletters.


    (29:46) Nathan Barry shares a story about how having an audience can shortcut career paths.


    (31:24) Transitioning from personal brand to building a business


    (32:22) Using personal brand to drive attention to other businesses


    (34:21) Debate on the success of creator-led agencies


    (39:15) Strategies for growing Twitter following


    (42:09) Repackaging and reposting content for maximum reach


    (45:47) Nathan Barry is transparent about his financials to inspire others.


    (52:59) Nathan Barry discusses the flywheel strategy for growing a newsletter.


    (55:30) Advertising as a loop closer drives new subscribers for sponsorships.


    (57:54) Growing the newsletter audience leads to book sales and more opportunities.


    (59:59) Building network effects between creators through the Creator Network.


    (1:01:36) Convertkit's Creator Network and Spark Loop acquisition.


    (1:06:09) Nathan suggests using partnerships with other blogs to promote the subscription service and increase email sign-ups.


    (1:07:38) Eric asks Nathan about his quote "making money is a skill" and Nathan explains that building a successful business requires developing a range of skills.


    (1:11:37) Nathan shares where people can find him online, including his podcast and newsletter.





    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here


    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes


    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed


     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     

    Growth Everywhere

    Single Grain

    Leveling Up

    Eric Siu on Twitter

    Eric Siu on Instagram


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Making A Million Bucks in 48 Hours? | Noah Kagan

    Making A Million Bucks in 48 Hours? | Noah Kagan

    Eric Siu interviews Noah Kagan, the founder of AppSumo, to explore essential entrepreneurial insights. They discuss the significance of having a clear vision, maintaining high standards, and finding joy in the entrepreneurial journey. Noah shares practical strategies for achieving business success, emphasizing the importance of focus, goal setting, and overcoming challenges. Noah's wealth of experiences and practical advice offers valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/Dqccee-F0QA

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:


    (00:00) Introduction to Noah Kagan


    (02:06) Importance of internal satisfaction rather than external achievements


    (06:00) Noah Kagan's approach to hiring elite advisors


    (07:20) Example of Mark Zuckerberg having a business coach


    (08:12) Noah Kagan's coaching framework and the coaches he has


    (14:26) Noah Kagan's approach to reaching out to prefluencers and the importance of engagement


    (16:06) Introduction to Noah Kagan's business, Appsumo


    (19:06) Noah Kagan's goal for Appsumo's growth


    (22:14) Balancing running a business, YouTube channel, and book writing


    (37:59) The interest rate environment in 2020 and 2021 has led to founders stepping back into their businesses.


    (38:29) Hiring CEOs may be overrated as founders are better at driving the vision.


    (40:00) AppSumo's team has been reduced to improve efficiency and profitability.


    (46:15) Many businesses fail because they quit too soon before seeing success.


    (53:52) Eric Siu and Noah Kagan discuss the inspiration behind their book, "Million Dollar Weekend."


    (56:30) Eric asks Noah to explain the 1-minute business model and its impact on AppSumo.


    (57:09) Noah emphasizes the importance of targeting a million-dollar market and optimizing the business model.


    (01:00:40) Eric Siu mentions sales as a pain point in his business.


    (01:04:00) Noah shares his thoughts on lifetime deals and subscriptions.


    (01:05:10) Eric asks Noah about finding contentment and fulfillment in life.


    (01:09:00) Noah Kagan explains how he approached dating like a business, focusing on who he wanted and where to find them.


    (01:15:40) Noah Kagan emphasizes the need to grow a business through social media and monetize the audience.


    (01:19:30) Noah Kagan explains different business models for newsletters and how Appsumo monetizes its newsletter.


    (01:21:10) Noah Kagan shares his five-part strategy for promoting his book, including building a launch team.


    (01:24:00) Noah Kagan discusses the success of hand-to-hand marketing and using surveys to engage customers.


    (01:26:15) Noah Kagan explains his goal of selling 25,000 books and his research-based approach to podcast interviews.


    (01:27:00) Noah Kagan shares his list of top ten shows to promote his book.


    (01:32:14) Noah Kagan emphasizes the importance of making an impact rather than just making a list.


    (01:41:52) Jeremy's impact on the YouTube channel's growth


    (01:47:15) Investing in the YouTube channel as an audience-building strategy


    (01:56:50) Noah Kagan shares the story of Larry Janeski, who built a successful business by never quitting.


    (01:58:30) Noah Kagan discusses the structure and budget of his content team


    (02:06:00) Balancing sustainability and enjoyment in content creation


    (02:09:09) Noah Kagan's website for more information





    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here


    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes


    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed


     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     

    Growth Everywhere

    Single Grain

    Leveling Up

    Eric Siu on Twitter

    Eric Siu on Instagram


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 2 hr 13 min
    How I Overcame My Anxiety and Addiction | Jimmy Zhang

    How I Overcame My Anxiety and Addiction | Jimmy Zhang

    Jimmy Zhang opens up about his journey of overcoming anxiety and addiction to become a successful content creator with 1.5 million subscribers. He discusses how his immigrant upbringing and struggles with school shaped his path, and how personal growth and self-discovery transformed his life. Jimmy also delves into his unique approach to dating and relationships, sharing unconventional perspectives on finding love and the importance of personal development before committing to a partner. He also talks about his business ventures, including his clothing line and potential future products. Additionally, he discusses the importance of innovation and iteration in content creation. Join Eric Siu as he dives deep into Jimmy's story and explores the lessons he's learned along the way.

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/0feTLHaRNSU 

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:


    (00:00) Introduction to the interview with YouTuber Jimmy Zhang


    (00:40) Discussing anxiety and coping mechanisms


    (04:03) Open discussion about porn addiction


    (06:11) Jimmy Zhang's immigrant upbringing in New York


    (10:16) Jimmy Zhang's talent in editing and the importance of recognizing children's strengths


    (11:24) Jimmy Zhang discusses the importance of finding a specialized skill and being genuinely passionate about it.


    (13:45) Jimmy Zhang recalls watching a Gary Vee video at 21 that inspired him to take advantage of his window of opportunity.


    (20:47) Jimmy Zhang shares that moving to LA has been a net positive for him, citing a better lifestyle and more like-minded individuals.


    (21:53) Eric Siu asks Jimmy Zhang about his current circle of friends, mentioning Sneako and other podcasters.


    (22:33) Eric Siu and Jimmy Zhang discuss the value of cross-pollinating ideas from different industries.


    (23:03) Eric Siu asks Jimmy Zhang about the personal growth content he consumes, including Iman Gadzhi and Alex Hormozi.


    (25:32) Jimmy Zhang explains how gaming helped him understand addiction and channel his energy into building a business.


    (27:13) The impact of anime on his success as a content creator and entrepreneur.


    (28:33) Jimmy Zhang describes his current niche on YouTube, which combines traveling and dating content.


    (31:00) Jimmy Zhang explains his creative process, drawing inspiration from old movies and TV shows to spark ideas.


    (33:39) Eric Siu reflects on the unpredictability of content creation and how unexpected elements can lead to success.


    (34:00) Jimmy Zhang explains the concept of an e date and how he met Chloe.


    (36:58) Eric Siu asks about Jimmy Zhang's unconventional takes on dating.


    (41:04) Jimmy's income sources include Adsense, merch, real estate, and brand deals.


    (42:24) Monthly reach ranges from 3-30 million views on YouTube and TikTok.


    (43:20) Jimmy wants to scale his clothing line and launch a condom brand.


    (44:30) Many YouTubers are complacent with sponsorship deals and ads.


    (46:00) Pursuing a business depends on individual goals and lifestyle.


    (48:18) Jimmy spends 80% of his time on creating and 20% on the business.


    (51:06) Gabe's commitment and shared sense of humor make him a great partner.


    (54:41) Importance of iterating and diversifying platforms


    (59:04) Considering partnering with an operator or investor


    (01:02:44) Tech stack: YouTube analytics and simple thumbnails


    (01:04:58) Eric asks Jimmy about his definition of generational wealth.


    (01:08:26) Check out Jimmy Zhang’s YouTube Channel.






    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here


    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes


    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed


     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     

    Growth Everywhere

    Single Grain

    Leveling Up

    Eric Siu on Twitter

    Eric Siu on Instagram


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.f

    • 1 hr 13 min
    He Can Make Anyone Look Good | Chris Do

    He Can Make Anyone Look Good | Chris Do

    Chris Do and Eric Siu discuss the power of personal branding and the effectiveness of masterminds as a business model. Chris emphasizes authenticity and vulnerability in building a strong personal brand, while also sharing insights on scaling his mastermind. The conversation touches on overcoming the fear of judgment through self-love and highlights the value of storytelling and finding the right mentor for personal growth. Tune in for quick and valuable advice on meaningful connections.

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/oDJ2VOHgThk 

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:






    (00:00) Introduction to personal branding and the significance of authenticity






    (01:00) Personal branding's demand for vulnerability and genuine audience connection






    (03:05) Sam Evans inspires Chris Do to launch a mastermind






    (06:26) Different approaches to structuring a mastermind






    (07:37) Details about Chris Do's mastermind and its pricing






    (07:58) Marketing and recruitment strategies for the mastermind






    (10:35) Eric Siu asks about the revenue range that is a good fit for the mastermind






    (12:20) Eric Siu praises Chris Do's approach to masterminds and suggests the possibility of coaching for equity in the future






    (14:13) Chris Do discusses the tailored approach to coaching, providing curated content recommendations based on individual needs and goals






    (17:28) Chris Do discusses his ambition for the mastermind component






    (20:26) Chris Do shares the reach and engagement on social media platforms






    (23:57) Chris Do explains his approach to LinkedIn posts and engagement






    (27:52) Writing from a place of emotion to engage readers






    (28:14) No engagement groups or artificial methods used on LinkedIn






    (29:57) Using the work detox to rest and gain clarity on problems






    (32:05) Writing about topics that inspire or frustrate






    (34:14) Elon Musk's impact on Twitter and his companies






    (35:06) Chris Do discusses his approach to finding good problems to solve






    (36:01) Chris Do shares the structure of his creative team






    (36:58) Chris Do's monthly spending on content






    (38:14) Chris Do shares his thoughts on the success and popularity of creators






    (39:53) Chris Do on Gary Vaynerchuk's content






    (41:31) Creating good content that resonates with the audience






    (42:30) Learning to care less about what others think






    (43:24) The significance of self-love and personal development in relationships






    (45:51) Story of "The Missing Piece" and the importance of self-acceptance






    (48:09) The power of storytelling in understanding oneself






    (49:54) The self-concept and its impact on branding and identity politics






    (51:50) Self-acceptance and personal branding






    (52:18) Formation of self-identity in childhood






    (56:17) Importance of finding the right coach or mentor






    (59:43) The value of coaching advice ($312,000 saved)






    (01:00:48) Coaches should be chosen based on substance, not accolades or reputation.






    (01:04:27) Chris Do's book "Pocket Full of Dough" contains lessons from his business coach.






    (01:04:46) How to find Chris Do online








    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.



    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here




    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes




    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed




     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     



    Growth Everywhere



    Single Grain



    Leveling Up



    Eric Siu on Twitter



    Eric Siu on Instagram




    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    The Bank Where Subscribers Are Your Credit Limit | Eric Wei

    The Bank Where Subscribers Are Your Credit Limit | Eric Wei

    Eric Wei, co-founder of Karat, discusses the challenges that creators face in the financial ecosystem and how Karat aims to provide financial services tailored to their needs. Eric Wei also talks about the evolving landscape of the creator economy, the need for creators to experiment with new formats, and the importance of building deeper engagement with their audience.

    Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/xGZg8IiDNSg 

    Don’t forget to help us grow by subscribing and liking on YouTube!

    TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:


    (00:00) Introducing Eric Wei, Co-founder of Karat – a financial platform for creators.


    (01:10) Many creators struggle to get business credit cards.


    (04:19) Karat focuses on organic marketing and trust-building.


    (09:17) ZHC, a top creator, became one of Karat's first clients.


    (09:59) Karat built credibility through multiple avenues to reach creators.


    (10:21) Karat is building a central ecosystem for creators' financial needs.


    (12:31) Trustworthy creators have direct connections to their community


    (14:35) Creators are creating newsletters for deeper engagement


    (19:00) Emma Chamberlain's evolution and monetization


    (20:16) Monetization strategies for different types of creators


    (22:23) Blurring the lines between creators and businesses


    (24:38) Behaviors that separate successful creators from low-performing ones


    (26:29) Importance of finding content market fit


    (28:06) Alexandra Botez as an example of a successful creator


    (30:21) The world of creator houses and agencies


    (30:55) Importance of cross-sphere collaboration and specialization


    (35:11) Challenges in creating a consistent podcast format


    (37:31) Business model and lead generation through podcasting


    (39:07) Differentiating the ad agency and the importance of focus


    (40:11) Recurring revenue and sticky clients make agencies attractive to private equity.


    (41:42) Focus on what you're good at rather than diversifying.


    (46:26) Setting goals and allowing the team to figure out how to achieve them.


    (47:16) The concept of barrels and ammunition in organizations.


    (49:57) The impact of achieving external validators of success


    (53:51) There are other paths to success


    (57:44) Eric Wei discusses the meaning of life and personal values


    (59:05) Eric Wei and Eric Siu discuss the benefits of strict parenting


    (1:03:08) Eric Wei explains his hesitation to have children


    (1:04:10) Eric Siu shares a perspective on parenting


    (1:06:00) Eric Wei talks about optimizing for freedom and responsibility


    (1:07:44) Balancing mission and mental health as a founder


    (1:09:44) Eric Wei’s Learning Stack


    (1:11:23) Exploring the concept of freedom and interference


    (1:14:11) The importance of freedom over equality


    (1:14:53) The challenges and stereotypes faced by Asian founders


    (1:17:06) The need for more support and collaboration among Asian founders


    (1:21:50) How to find Eric Wei online



    What should I talk about next? Who should I interview? Please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

    Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review here


    Subscribe to Leveling Up on iTunes


    Get the non-iTunes RSS Feed


     
    Connect with Eric Siu: 
     

    Growth Everywhere

    Single Grain

    Leveling Up

    Eric Siu on Twitter

    Eric Siu on Instagram


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
294 Ratings

294 Ratings

ovationboyyy ,

Such A Great Show!

I love how this show doesn’t hold back on delivering the quality by trying to make awesome people fit into a short timeframe. They actually take the time to share their story and get into details!

If you are wondering if you should listen go ahead and click play and Level Up with Eric Siu!

PaigeBPodcasting ,

Great Show!

The guests that Eric brings on are truly top notch. They are diverse and I learn something new every episode! I love the mini episodes that are mixed in too. Always a great nugget in a succinct format.

MooreMomentum ,

Gamifying done right

Eric truly knows how to level up your life in a fun and attainable way. Keep it up bro

Top Podcasts In Business

NerdWallet Personal Finance
Ramsey Network
Money News Network
Dan Fleyshman
DOAC
Hala Taha | YAP Media Network

You Might Also Like

iHeartPodcasts
Tier 11
Alex Hormozi
Noah Kagan
Leila Hormozi
Russell Brunson