Welcome back! You are now listening to the Game of Grow Podcast and I’m your host, Muoyo Okome
Episode 3 of the most dangerous business podcast in the universe.
It’s not about where you start or where you are right now... It’s about where you want to go, who you want to become, and the price you’re willing to pay to get there.
Are you willing to take the challenge and grow…?
Guys, I am going to keep it real with you here. I had episode 3 done and in the bag yesterday, but I decided I had to scrap the whole thing and completely re-record it.
While I do want to keep things bare bones, raw, and real in the spirit of imperfect action… you will hear my ums, verbal mistakes, and imperfections…. And keeping things light is also good for my consistency. I had to pull out and do this one over because it was cool, but not up to standards.
When I think about the purpose of this show and how I will measure it, it’s always going to be about whether it is useful and usable to you. I don’t just want to get up here and talk for the sake of talking. I want you to be able to put things into practice.
This is not a motivational podcast. I’m aware I have a certain way of talking… my wife always tells me babe… take it down a notch, you can talk normally, but I can’t help it.
You stick a mic in my face and allow me to talk about a subject like business & entrepreneurship and I get excited… and this is what you get. Similar to how I would sound telling a funny story at a social event.
So if it’s motivating for you, that is awesome, and that’s a bonus, but it’s not my main goal.
First and foremost, I want it the information given in this show to be usable, I want it to be actionable, I want it to be valuable, and that is the question I will always be asking myself and the standard I will be holding myself to.
You may have noticed that one of the central themes & messages of the show is that you can essentially accomplish anything, given enough time an effort. If you can’t do it now, it’s probably because you lack the necessary skills. The good news is that almost every skill can be learned and acquired, with enough time. That is what we are here to do.
So that is why we are doing a new version...
Review of the Day
Alright! Shall we do the review of the day?
Guys, you already know that my singular purpose, my north star, my obsession with this show, as I just mentioned providing you value and helping you to level up your game and get results, so nothing is more important to me than your feedback. That’s why I am reading these reviews of the day, because I want to hear more from you so I can know whether or not this Game of Grow movement is doing it’s job and making a difference.
This one is also came in before the show actually released, but it still made me feel amazing and it’s good practice... I want to help get you guys in the habit. Here’s the review. This one is from Kara:
“Woooo hooooo!!!! Congratulations on building your empire Muoyo!!!🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
I’m pumped for another podcast—it allows me to listen to your influence on the go!! 😄😄😄
You have such an authentic and endearing way of communicating transparently to your listeners and students ... I’m really pumped for another way for you to share what you know, and how you grow!!Congratulations and Kudos to you!
If you want to have me on your podcast featuring a “somewhat lost” entrepreneur in the making, I’m available! lol Maybe others can learn from my confusion..apprehension?🤷🏾♀️ It might be a helpful convo. Yay! I’m pumped Muoyo!-Kara”
Big thank you to Kara… I really appreciate you.
So go ahead and subscribe and leave a rating & review on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play… wherever you happen to be listening and perhaps I’ll be featuring you next!
If you like the show, if you enjoy the content, this is one of the most powerful ways you can help us out, so don’t underestimate it. The subscribes and reviews help Apple and Google to understand that this is a powerful movement so they can give us better positioning in their stores and more people can hear this same valuable message you’re listening to right now. We are the underdogs here and cannot make this happen without your help.
Enough of that...
Alright! We’re back and we’re live! First of all, thank you for all the love and support… I truly appreciate it. You could be anywhere in the world… but you’re here with me.
Today I wanted to discuss something a bit different. Something I know is on a lot of your minds, because I am always getting these kind of questions….
Recently, someone asked me how I made the leap from corporate life to entrepreneurship. Was it scary? How did I know it was the right time? How did I decide what project(s) to pursue? Who did I go to for advice? I hear these questions often and I KNOW they are on a lot of people's minds, so I would like to touch on all of that today.
And if you ever have questions, I would love to hear them. Reach out at email@example.com and who knows…? Your question may be the next one to be featured on the show
How did you decide what to pursue?
In my case it actually came to me sort of by chance… I was running all around the internet trying to learn marketing and looking for interesting projects because I needed to get the hell out of my job, and I ended up running into someone who was doing this app thing who caught my attention and earned my trust over time, then getting educated, getting hooked, and diving all the way in.
But speaking more generally let’s break this thing down… how SHOULD one decide what to pursue?
When it comes to any business you want to do, demand is probably the most important factor we should consider.
If nobody wants the thing, I don’t care how brilliant it is, it’s not going to sell. It’s funny because novice entrepreneurs will often be far more concerned with lack of competition, i.e. “no one has done this before”, when presence of demand is far more important.
I knew there was obviously proven demand for mobile apps, because they were moving like hotcakes, and on a micro level, the App Store charts could help you figure out which types of apps had more and less market demand. That box was already checked for me, but that’s going to be something you always need to validate in order to move forward with confidence.
When I say accessibility here, what I mean is that my plan had to be one I could access without a whole lot of people having to say yes or give me the green light. It couldn’t require too much capital, because I only had a finite amount, and was not interested in borrowing money. You’re probably going to want to think about this as well.
In some cases, for some businesses, you may have higher financial requirements and capital needs, but I generally always recommend people start small with your first business, and give yourself an opportunity to learn a lot and make your first mistakes… and there will be many, on the cheap.
I know there are plenty of counterexamples to this…. People who have invested massively to start their first business…. but just my opinion based on my experience. I said what I said
I think one big advantage I have over a lot of people I’ve observed when it comes to this entrepreneurship game is that I am willing to try things, do them badly, and get better over time. A lot of you guys want to wait for the perfect plan and are scared to actually try. What’s the worst that could actually happen?
In the beginning the truth is that you have no idea what’s going to work for you. But I do know what’s not going to work…. Thinking about it and not doing anything.
Another thing is that your first business does not need to be Amazon or Facebook, so you probably should not put all that pressure. It just needs to be a first step and a learning experience, and something in the real world outside of your head.
For me, it was about trying a lot of different things until one of them succeeded, then that became my first thing.
Let me tell you a quick story...
So I think we’ve established this. For a long time… Since late 2011, I’ve been involved in the app game in various forms, whether it be publishing my own apps (lots of fun), partnering with other people/businesses/entities, teaching others the game (App Moguls is my program where I currently do that), working on apps for other people (this has been by far the hardest and most painful, but sometimes it’s actually really cool too), or even writing my 108 page masterpiece “The 7 Steps to App Success”, which coincidentally you can pick up at appmagic.co/book for an amazing price… *shameless plug* haha
Early 2013, one of my apps took off to the very top of the charts, in the top 10, and I was definitely earning a healthy ROI from that app along with the rest of my portfolio. Things had already been going well. If you’ve listened to episode 1 already, you know a bit about how that was going. I had been doing well already. Shortly after, I resolved to quit my corporate job. I had originally planned to stick around til September and collect my next stock award, then it became June, and then this happens, and I had to be out in April, I believe it was.
Cheers to overnight success, right…? Not really, and it never is
There were a lot of steps and a lot of experiences that hardly seem related that have combined to help me, and I know there will be a lot more on this journey as we go forward. Let me highlight a few choice ones from over the years.
First there was the kid stuff...
As early as I can remember, I thought that I would eventually work for myself and not have to worry about money. Being the kind of kid that was fascinated by science, my thought was that I would invent awesome products and profit from them (Ninja Turtles validated that this path was possible, the downside being the bad guys that constantly raided your lab).
One of my early inventions was a bug spray concocted from stuff I found under the sink. Our house in Brooklyn had a big backyard which served as the perfect laboratory. Unfortunately my product ended up being not the best on the market but I was not about to stop right there
A little later, Mr. Wizard (I greatly preferred him to Bill Nye at the time, despite the bigger brand) introduced me to the wonderful and lucrative world of rocks and minerals so I quickly became an explorer or collector. After much exploration and collection, it was quite a blow to learn that broken sidewalk & asphalt crystals didn’t really count as valuable rocks. They did not go for much on the open market, but I was undeterred.
Later on at school, maybe a few grades and ideas later, we started to learn how to write basic computer programs in a language called BASIC. I was very proud of my program, which could tell you the day of the week, if you gave it the date. I tinkered with the home computer until it would run my brilliant program every time it started. My brilliant program eventually this stopped the computer from starting up. Several missteps later, the computer was wiped of all information, including an important paper my mom had been working on for years. For a time, I did learn to become an expert in using the recovery tools to get the data back, but Mom didn't want to pay me for that for some reason.
Even though this was kind of a bad experience, I now knew I liked the computers thing…
And there were many more ideas and missteps, but on to adult life
I did come back to computers eventually and graduated college as a CS-major and became a software developer by trade. I also did websites & graphic design on the side… a lot of funny stories from that era. Let me just say that people were sometimes happier to use the work than they were to pay for it, but I liked to get paid, which led to some amusing encounters and stories…
But anyway, I eventually this into a business along with my cousin (who is technically not my cousin by blood... this might be an African thing). After one too many low-paying, highly-demanding clients I could no longer take the burnout and quit. I learned I wanted to be properly compensated for my tim
My third job at the time was an education startup that I co-founded. We built a great product (totally unbiased) and had many great team dinners but did not make it so far without a viable marketing plan or means of distribution. I learned that marketing was important. Having a product alone doesn’t cut it. If you build it they will not come.
Towards the end of business school, I reasoned that shoes... especially women's shoes were a product that sold themselves, and started building an online business around that. Most women I spoke to about the idea were sold on it the moment I uttered "shoes". I was not as passionate about shoes, and as a result could not find the energy to keep on working hard on it, creating content and interacting with the community when I had no clear path to profitability The business died a natural death in a matter of months. I learned that I need to be interested in at least some part of the business. I also learned a lot about marketing.
"Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune." -Jim Rohn
During the course of learning how to market products online, I came across a marketer who started to talk about making apps for the iPhone. This intrigued me so I followed his progress and did more research independently. He eventually started having a lot more success and offered a course to go behind the scenes of his business and learn. I did some more research on him and found him to be legit and the opportunity was compelling. So I dove in and the rest is history.
So basically, that is how I chose the correct entrepreneurial opportunity.
Each of my many failures and setbacks (there are more) taught me something along the way.
And I am very sure that soon enough we’ll have the opportunity to talk about where I am focused and what I am working on right now. We’ll do that right here on the Game of Grow Podcast.
Another reason for my choice: mobile applications are a lucrative and growing space in which small players are still able to have huge impact and one that I am very interested in, which makes it easier to put in the hours and do all the necessary work. I would not have as much luck going solo into the oil business, for example.
Market conditions are important and every opportunity is not created equal... but the best ones will probably be most recognizable in hindsight. Do your evaluation for sure… but you have to get off the sidelines, take some action, and try some things to figure it out for sure.
How did you know it was time?
In my particular situation, it was not all that hard...
Beyond the knowledge gained from these courses, another benefit was exposure to a community of entrepreneurs from all different countries and backgrounds, many of whom I still talk to on a daily basis to share information, success, and failures.
There is a myth that entrepreneurs are extreme risk takers and people often commend me on being "brave". While there is risk inherent in anything, I believe that most of us are pragmatists and seek to mitigate the risk as much as possible… For example, Richard Branson is often perceived as a fun-loving wild man, but if you actually listen to him speak, you’ll hear him talk about “protecting the downside”
One factor in walking away is that I was consistently earning considerably more & learning considerably more with my "side gig" than with my main job. I would easily be able to purchase healthcare from the exchange with plenty to spare… one of the main concerns people often talk about.
It was getting to the point where I almost felt that my day job was holding my progress back. Another was that taking these courses gave me a "blueprint" of sorts... although not perfect, they accelerated my learning beyond where I would have been without them. Another was that I could see I was not unique in my experience. I had other friends achieving the same success or much more... many of who made fun of me for "still having a real job" (thanks again, guys).
After repeating for X number of months, I decided it was repeatable and set a date by which I would leave. And then once I was able to convince my Nigerian parents that the idea made sense and it was actually riskier for me to stay at this cushy corporate job I disliked (highly improbable scenario… I did not see that one coming), I knew it was definitely time and I resigned shortly after. Everyone's decision is going to be a little different.
And I’ll also say this. There is no reason to rush. Yes, you do want to act with urgency, when it comes to your work, and yes, pressure can be a powerful fuel source, but you don’t want to make rash decisions that are going to make your life harder than it has to be…
Like I mentioned, in my situation, all signals were pointing towards my time to leave, so I left, but there is no shame in working on your business on the side, learning the ropes, and scaling your side income until you feel secure enough to make the jump.
Actually, on a recent episode of Side Hustle Pro (I was listening to it while getting my sprints in in the evening… we were both down there actually), the guest, who has a successful hair & skin care brand called Alikay Naturals, that started off as a side hustle, suggested that you get your business earnings to around 60% of your salary while side hustling before you consider making the jump… Logic being that at that point you have proven the model and should be able to scale it up to where it needs to be when you can dedicate your full time.
And actually, you don’t EVER have to make the jump if you don’t want to. For some people, it can be satisfying enough to have a nice side business and extra income stream while keeping that full time job security.
That’s not for me… Not the life I dream about or fight for, but I see no problem with that decision or thought process.
Was it scary?
At the time, not at all. I felt quite smart & invincible (looking back, I may have been a bit naive… maybe there is some power in that).
Even if things went south, I felt I that the experience would be far more valuable to me than staying at my job. I also felt I was smart & competent enough to get another one if necessary (possibly true or untrue... I don't know). And even more than that, I had faith in myself, that if other people have done this before, no matter what, I could ultimately figure out a solution
Since then I have gone through upswings and downswings with the business. You try to detach yourself from the results and focus on process and execution, but that is tough. Bigger numbers still make me feel like a genius while smaller ones tend to do the opposite. One definitely thinks about the lack of a safety net more when numbers decrease, markets change, revenue streams dry up. It's all very human.
To get past this, it helps me to take a realistic assessment of my current position (count my blessings), consider the worst case scenario, then step away from my emotions & fear and figure out what to do. For me, the answer often comes back to acquiring new knowledge and skills, which inevitably lead to more success over a long enough period of time. You get more comfortable with the ambiguity and for me, the good greatly outweighs the bad.
Tony Robbins has a quote where he says: “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” and for me, that is one I can certainly vibe with.
I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s always fun and games, but I definitely enjoy life a lot more as an entrepreneur, taking full responsibility for what happens into my own hands… and I will always love the Game, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So that is everything you ever wanted to know about quitting your job to become an entrepreneur and when and why to make the decision. But if I somehow missed your question, feel free to ask me anything below and I will respond as soon as I can.
Question of the Day
What is your #1 question about starting or growing your business online business?
You know how to reach me, so reach out and let me know…
This episode was sponsored by you, so if and only if you received great value from it, make sure you pay that fee: subscribe, review (the single biggest thing you can do to say thanks, and help us to reach more people), for each episode you enjoy, learn from, resonate with… bring me back one like minded person who you know would enjoy this content as well… If you didn’t get value… this doesn’t apply to you. You don’t have to do a thing.
But if you got value, bring me back one person back for each episode where that’s true… show them how to subscribe and review and all that, and that will be a huge help.
I’m not talking 5 people… I mean I won’t be mad if you go out and recruit your whole group chat, your whole uber pool, your whole basketball team, entrepreneurship club, or community organization… I’m not going to be mad at you, but the fee is just one person per episode. I’m nothing if not FAIR! Right??
And let me know that you did it, so I can say thank you!
Alright… Enough of this!
And with that, I’ll see you guys back here real soon on the Game of Grow Podcast.
For everything else: to sign up for the mailing list, join the Game of Grow Facebook Community, connect with us on social (@gameofgrow everywhere), send me an email…
check out gameofgrow.com, and it’s all right there…
Remember…It’s not about where you start. It’s about where you want to go, who you want to become and the price you’re willing to pay to get there.
DJ drop that beat and take us out...
This episode is sponsored by my first book, "The 7 Steps to App Success".
12 million downloads, 8 years of grinding, 7 months of writing & editing, and thousands of dollars of my own money later, it’s finally here…. And you can get it for wayyyy less. Head to appmagic.co/book and pick up your digital copy, in its 108 pages of glory.
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