In many ways, Avinash is the king of "the side hustle":
- Speaker & Advisor - An established speaker who has consulted for some of the world’s largest brands
- Entrepreneur - Recently sold the education company he co-founded for a reported $10M
- Writer - A thought leader in the world of analytics who wrote the best selling book: “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” as well as building a large following on his blog: Occam’s Razor
- Googler - Leads a team of 70 story tellers, as Google’s Digital Marketing evangelist
I’ve known Avinash for a few years from our time at Google. But in prep for our interview, I realized how little I knew about his personal story.
- Who was the real Avinash behind the guy on stage frantically shouting out "THIS SUCKS" to bewildered CEOs?
- What experiences shaped his outlook and how did he end up in such a unique role at Google?
- What role did his writing play in shaping where he is today?
He hasn’t shared much of this before so I’m thankful we had a chance to get personal & discuss his incredible journey. From living in a factory as a kid in India, to building a life in the US, becoming a best selling author & thought leader in his space.
Here are five things to listen out for:
(1) Early Years - Growing up poor & living in a factory in India
(2) Starting his career - Moving to Saudi Arabia, the US & why he was attracted to web analytics
(3) Writing & Building An Audience - How he built an audience of 150k monthly readers on his blog, wrote a book & landed a high profile role at Google
(4) Starting From Scratch - If he was starting again, how he would focus his time to build his brand and audience again?
(5) Personal - His fear of being broke, what motivates him & what success means to him personally.
All show notes and details can be found on: www.creatorlab.fm
- Background of how Bilal & Avinash know each other [1m38s]
- Explaining what his job is to his mum [2m51s]
- How he got his job at Google [3m44s]
- Growing up poor in India & living in a factory [5m16s]
- What he wanted to be when he grew up? [7m38s]
- Where his work ethic came from [10m31s]
- Moving to Saudi Arabia & the USA [12m44s]
- Earning $500/month - still 7x more than he would have made in India [14m16s]
- What it felt like to be poor [18m10s]
- How he uses the fear of going broke and losing his job to motivate himself [20m45s]
- Losing his job again at Silicon Graphics [26m17s]
- Why it can make sense to take a title & pay cut [28m40]
- What attracted him to web analytics [29m46s]
- Taking the plunge to start a company and knowing when it’s the right time to go for it [30m28]
- Starting a blog and role of personal branding [32m40s]
- Why he was wrong about people not wanting to pay for a book when they could get it online for free [38m22s]
- Taking 6months to get to 1000 visitors, now at 150,000 visitors a month [41m15s]
- Content vs Amplification [43m39s]
- “If I can listen to 50 podcasts, why should I listen to you” [45m35s]
- Career limiting moves [51m33s]
- Owned vs Rented platforms, eg. email vs social [58m39s]
- Why he gets more engagement from 9.5k email subscribers than 200k twitter followers [1hr47s]
- Advice for growing an email list [1hr2m14s]
- What’s motivating him [1hr3m53s]
- Can you be happy if you always want to stand out? [1hr5m43s]
- Spending 4 hours a week to learn something new [1hr7m12s]
- Advice to 18 year old Avinash [1hr8m15s]
- What success means to him [1hr9m28s]
- 4 people he mentions: [1hr9m40s]
1) Thomas Baekdal
writes about media, analytics, social and broad digital trends:
2) Mitch Joel
is a marketing rockstar, his blog illustrates why:
3) Seth Godin’s
incisiveness and pithiness, and of course his take on marketing is legendary
4) Kaiser Fung
is incredible with big data, advanced math and visualizations
- Examples of failure [1hr10m38s]
- What matters most [1hr15m5s]