061: Evidence that entrepreneurs are made, not born with Mani Vaya

This week Mani Vaya came on the show to discuss how he discovered that entrepreneurs are actually made, not born. We also discussed his process for networking at conferences so you can surround yourself with people who can cut your learning curve down from decades to days.

Mani was very successful as an engineer and manager of billion dollar cellphone projects. He was well respected and well paid too but even with all that he felt something was missing.

The Big Idea

Mani wanted to have a greater impact on the world on his own terms and not just by making someone else’s dream a reality. He had learned so much from books and wanted to create something that would help those interested in not only hearing the most important aspects of a book but also understanding the story and context behind what was written in the book.

This is when he had the idea for his current company, 2000 Books, which provides book summaries for busy entrepreneurs.

Once Mani finally decided to go for it and start his company, he didn’t just dip his toe in the pool and side hustle his way into replacing his income. He knew that if he kept delaying his start that he would aways find an excuse for why now wasn’t a good time to build his business so he decided to quit his job and live off his savings as he built his company.

Mani was inspired to take this plunge by an idea from Nobel laureate and economist, Thomas Schelling who said in order to win at anything we must limit our options. We must take away options intentionally so we can focus our attention on the thing we really want to accomplish.

The idea here being when we have too many options we aren’t giving our best to any one thing.   

Mani saved up, reduced his living expenses to the bare minimum, invested much of his savings and quit his job so he could focus 100% on his business. He said until you have no other options but to succeed you will always find a reason to put off doing the work that needs to be done to be successful.

Focus or Fold

Mani said before starting 2000 Books he had a number of other business ideas that just didn’t work out the way he planned. When discussing the decision to move away from his previous business ideas he said one of the hardest things to figure out when you’re business is struggling is if it’s time to persevere or time to pivot to a new business idea.

You have to decide if it is more likely that you are just feet from striking gold if you keep going or if you are wasting time with something that will likely never pane out instead of focusing your energy and attention on something else that has more potential for success?

Entrepreneurs are Made, not Born

According to Mani entrepreneurs are made and not born. Those who are successful entrepreneur spend years cutting their teeth and failing forward until they finally become successful. Even the so called overnight successes usually have a similar story if you really dig into their past. Many times a past that very few people actually know about.

Mani said it’s all about putting in your 10,000 hours as Malcolm Gladwell talking about in his best selling book Outliers. The more time you spend in entrepreneurship the higher your chances are of being successful at it.

Mani decide to take note and make himself into an entrepreneur. He originally got the idea for 2000 Books when he saw there were existing businesses in the space that were providing book summaries so he knew it was a viable business model but didn’t like the boring way these companies were going about book summaries so he sought out to do it better.

Growing a Business Using Content Marketing

Mani has been successful getting the word out about his business using mainly content marketing. His podcast and YouTube Channel are his largest sources of traffic.

He has been successful growing his following on YouTube and through his podcast by posting about his new content on Reddit and letting people know what he had just released.

He said one thing that helped him really grow his audience was being clear to his audience what they were going to get out of following him. 

He also was able to grow his interview based podcast by getting his guests to share the episode with their audience.

Mani said yet another strategy is to increase the frequency of your show to get more downloads and so people become addicted to your show overtime.

To listen to the full interview click the play button below.


2000 Books

2000 Books Podcast

Learn to Podcast

If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast and want to learn how to create and grow an awesome one that will help you build or grow a loyal following and make more money, check out the Podcast Success Academy. I’ve personally learned a lot from the academy about improving my show quality and growing my audience so if you have been thinking about starting your own podcast this is a great place to learn how to create a successful show.

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