He calls himself a Tenacious Blogger, Angel Investor, Guerrilla Marketer, Serial Entrepreneur, Passionate Leader, Party Animal, Television Fanatic, Door-to-door Salesman
Born on April 24, 1985, London, England, Moving to Orange county, California When he was only 2 years old, Neil Patel is the co-founder of 2 Internet companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. Through these 2 companies he has helped large corporations such as eBay, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, TechCrunch, Walmart, and Zappos make more money from the web. By the age of 21 Neil was named one of the top influencers on the web by the Wall Street Journal as well as quoted in magazines such as Entrepreneur for his insights on the new aged web. During his free time, Neil enjoys blogging at Quick Sprout.
Neil, Thanks for spending your time with us on YHP
• Can you please introduce yourself to the YHP Readers, what you do? Your background?
My name is Neil Patel and I am a first generation U.S. Asian Indian. I have lived in Orange County California for most of my life and I am currently living in Seattle.
Since I was born I have always been an entrepreneur. Most recently, I have been spending most of my time on my new startup, KISSmetrics.
• What inspired you at such a young age to become an entrepreneur, to start your business?
Entrepreneurship has run in my family’s blood for decades. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur because for me, it was the only way I was going to become filthy rich (which I haven’t achieved yet).
• I mean you probably have one of the most interesting blog i have read in a while, i mean it’s crazy, the followers you have on your own blog, I mean the interaction with your blog subscribers is super crazy, how did you achieve that?
I feel I have achieved an active community on Quick Sprout because I take the time and help my readers. When someone emails me, I respond to him or her. When someone leaves a comment, I respond to his or her comment.
• I mean you’re so open with the mistakes you’ve made along the way which is pretty cool, how did you start to be that open with your audience? Why do you do these?
Well, I have always felt that people are more likely to learn from mistakes than successes. In most cases, it is hard to replicate someone’s success, but it is much easier to avoid the mistakes they made.
Due to this, I decide that I was going to be open. At first it was hard, but after a while I got used to it.
• I was reading over some of your posts, and one thing i found quite interesting was when you mentioned that the good news is that "you have made money than you lost", which got me thinking that as entrepreneurs we need to be persistent and keep trying.
You are correct. The only reason I am somewhat successful is because I have made dozens of attempts at starting businesses. When one fails, I get right up and move onto my next idea.
If I weren’t persistent, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
• You’ve had your share of failure in your entrepreneurial journey, you said you invested $1 million into a company and lost it all, how did you come back from that, i mean that must be pretty intense?
I came back by making money through my consulting company. By helping other people grow their company, I was able to charge a decent fee for my time. Sooner or later all of the consulting money I made, outgrew my loses.
• You were born in London right? You moving to the states, do you feel it had an effect on your entrepreneurial journey as in more opportunities that you were exposed compared to you being in the UK?
I moved to the states when I was 1. I don’t remember much from my days in London, but moving to the states helped me because I was surrounded by a few of my uncles who were entrepreneurs.
• What three things would you base the success of your success on?
1. My parents – they were the ones who pushed me to do well. They never gave up in me when things weren’t looking great and they always had my back.
2. Persistence - I did whatever it took to succeed. Even if you aren’t smart sooner or later things have to go in your favour.
3. Networking – I surrounded myself around other successful entrepreneurs. Being around these people help me become a better entrepreneur.
• How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I usually stick with an idea until I lose faith in it or I find a better idea to move onto. I kind of have A.D.D. so I tend to jump around a lot when it comes to business ideas.
• If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would probably concentrate on one business idea. Because I jumped around so much I was never able to grow any of my start-ups into large companies. If I had focused I could have been sitting on a $100 million dollar company.
• What book has inspired you the most?
The Dip by Seth Godin. If you haven’t read it, you should. It will give you a sense on when you need to quit or stick with an idea.
• Who is your favourite entrepreneur of all-time?
Elon Musk. He isn’t the richest entrepreneur out there, but I love what he is doing with his companies. Plus, unlike most entrepreneurs, he is running 2 large companies at the same time. That’s a tough thing to do.
• What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When I made enough money to get out debt. I hated being in debt and now that I don’t owe anyone money, my life has a lot less stress.
• Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I really like Tesla. The cars are great and they are environmentally friendly.
• What sacrifices did you have to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I didn’t get to enjoy my childhood. I spent most of my high school and college life working instead of having fun like most kids.
• If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
That’s a tough question. Probably something revolved around major business mistakes to avoid.
• What advices would you give to young entrepreneurs starting up their business?
Even if your first few businesses fail, don’t give up. Keep on pushing hard when you are young because you don’t have to worry about mortgage payments, family, or even bills. If you start young, sooner or later things will work out, it just may take 2 to 5 years.
If you wait to start a business till you are 30, you’ll have a lot more pressure because you have to worry about things like your kids.
Thanks for your time Neil, this is some great advice here.