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Intuitive Business Approaches With Eric Siu of Leveling Up

Eric Siu

Eric Siu is the Chairman of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency driving scalable and predictive revenue growth. As an investor and advisor to Fortune 500 companies and venture-backed startups, he founded Leveling Up, a business and personal growth blog. Eric is also the author of the book Leveling Up and hosts the Leveling Up podcast, where he dissects growth levers to help businesses scale.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [4:50] How Eric Siu divides his attention between consulting and managing businesses
  • [6:02] Eric talks about the Leveling Up Founders mastermind and his framework for networking
  • [10:04] Eric’s process for developing and executing intuition
  • [16:18] Assessing decision-making based on intuition versus data
  • [18:03] The common myths about leaving a legacy
  • [23:23] What are Eric’s predictions for the future of business, and how can you adjust your company?
  • [29:51] Advice for structuring a team in an unpredictable labor market
  • [35:36] Eric shares his perspective on adversity and investing for the long-term
  • [42:11] Eric’s new software product Carrot.ai

In this episode…

As inflation intensifies, a labor market crash is looming. For most businesses, this entails bankruptcy. But today’s guest has found opportunities in adversity and shares how you can strategize for the future.

Intuitive marketer Eric Siu maintains that by providing quality services, staying true to yourself, and remaining relevant, you can persist and thrive through the unprecedented market and other business challenges. While some organizations can’t withstand a labor market crash, Eric’s strategy is to attract available talent from inevitable layoffs. When harnessing this approach, it’s vital to use your intuition before trusting any employee and exercise self-discipline if disputes arise.

In today’s episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin interviews Eric Siu, the Chairman of Single Grain and the Founder of Leveling Up, about persevering through crises to build a flourishing business. Eric talks about his networking framework, why you shouldn’t focus on leaving a legacy, and his predictions for the future of business.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

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Episode Transcript

Joshua Chin 0:18

Welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast. I’m your host Josh Chin, and today we’re in conversation with Eric Siu, founder, entrepreneur, investor, podcaster. And ultimately, a friend and mentor to me. Eric is the founder and chairman of Single Grain. Single Grain is a digital marketing agency that helps companies from Fortune five hundreds to venture backed startups grow their revenues online using customized digital strategies that span across multiple marketing channels. He’s also the co host of the very, very popular Marketing School podcast with Neil Patel. He is the founder of Leveling Up with Eric Siu. He’s also a guest lecturer at USC, and a member of YPO, as well as an ex member of EO. And in this conversation, our topics span across a wide array of ideas and topics, including how he thinks about businesses, how he thinks about his legacy, his investments, and ultimately how he thinks about the future and the markets moving forward. I’m sure you find a lot of value in this conversation as much as I have. Enjoy. Eric, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us. Dude, I’m super excited to have you. Let’s start with how we met. I think people don’t know this, but I essentially called outreached to you right? Was it was that back in like 2018?

Eric Siu 1:48

I think I actually don’t remember. Well, I

Joshua Chin 1:51

do I do. And here’s a story. I reached out to you on I think it was email because I bought your course. Or it may have been I think the course may have came after but it’s either one of one or the other. But basically I reached out to you and I was like, Dude, I love what you do. I’ve I listen to your podcasts. I listen to marketing school if you and new Patel Ellison Leveling Up. I know back then I don’t think Leveling Up was

Eric Siu 2:21

Leveling Up actually came first. So my first podcast, I’ve been doing it since 2013. So that’s 10 years. And then marketing school came like five years after that.

Joshua Chin 2:32

That makes sense. And so I was like, Dude, I’m in. I’m in LA. And I know your office is in LA. You’re an EO. I’m in the Yo, back then I was in iOS accelerator. And you told me a bunch of things. And this is what I’ve implemented. And I left me. And you’re like, surprisingly, you you said yes. And I think you said no. And I bugged you a couple more times because I’m really persistent. And that’s how I met. That’s how I meet people at the starmaker. I’m just really persistent. When I want to meet someone, I go really hard and kind of pursuing that. And I’ll show up at your doorstep and say, Hey, man, I’m I’m in LA right now. And it will be your offices. I’m right downstairs and let’s meet. And so we had coffee, Pete’s coffee.

Eric Siu 3:21

Phil’s coffee, not a piece coffee piece. Coffee is a client of ours. But we went to Phil’s coffee. Yeah. So Ah,

Joshua Chin 3:27

okay. Phil’s coffee. And, and yeah, that was that was 2018 2019. I think, and, and then that eventually evolved. And I consider you a great mentor of mine. I learned a lot from just watching you and just observing what you do proposed. And probably, I get to ask you questions, and you answer them. And that’s, that’s super cool. So I think it’s come full circle from just listening to you on your shows and your podcast, and now having you on my show. So thanks for coming back.

Eric Siu 4:03

Happy to be here. I know, we got to hang out. I thought the first time we had met was actually in Barcelona, but it was actually Phil’s coffee. You’re correct. But anyway, yeah, happy to be here. Happy to just have a nice conversation.

Joshua Chin 4:17

So Eric, you you run a couple of businesses, and you are prolific in what you do in business, but also in producing content across multiple channels across podcast, social, your newsletter. Where do you allocate the majority of your mind space and attention to at this point in time, and how do you foresee that to change in the next 12 to 18 months?

Eric Siu 4:50

Yeah, so presently, right now I focus most of the my most of my time on the ad agency, which is Single Grain, and other than that, I spent a lot of time I’m on, or I shouldn’t say a lot of time, but I a lot of my focus on growing the Marketing School podcast. So that one, we’re at about 2 million downloads a month, right now we want to basically get it to 5 million, let’s call it views a month. So that’s including YouTube as well. And so I just think there’s a big opportunity to grow a nice community there. And beyond that, I do a founders mastermind called Leveling Up founders. And those are kind of the three things that I focused on. Now, I do like to dabble in a lot of things. But I’ve kind of learned over the years, like if there’s any wisdom at all the the real power of focus, and I’m happy to share around that later. But those are kind of the three main pillars right

Joshua Chin 5:36

now. Between between the ad agency and the community that you’re building, what’s the what’s the interplay between the mastermind slash community and the ad agency? Do you do get clients from the mastermind do cross pollinate across what’s the intention behind the

Eric Siu 6:02

so the mastermind for me, I mean, what’s always been good for me is networking and moreso, building relationships with people and I find that being an introvert, I do a better job of bringing people to the source, right. So if I, if I tell someone, hey, X, Y, and Z are going to be at my event, it’s much easier to just get people to come people that I like to come. And so for example, our the last event that we had, we had a lot of y PRs and Iovers. There, some people have taken their companies public, you know, for $4 billion, one for 1.2 billion, and just really high caliber people. And what ends up happening is high caliber, people like to hang out with high caliber people. And eventually, they remember you that the more you continue to give, the more you continue to get. So I really like to throw these things. And, you know, at the end of the day, I know that the connectors like people remember to connect her. So I don’t really have a oh, I need to get clients immediately type of vibe, because people can sense that when you when you have that. And I just continued like to give it same thing with marketing school there. You know, for the first three years of marketing school, we didn’t monetize anything, for the first three years of Leveling Up, we didn’t really monetize anything for the podcast. And so I take I tried to take a very long term view on things. And, you know, I’ve learned over the years, that long term tends to pay better dividends than short term, and I’m just not good at the short term stuff. And so, you know, that’s what ultimately works for me like, that is my format, like throwing dinners throwing masterminds, or, you know, getting people to get it like, next month, we’re going to Turkey with a group of like, 10 entrepreneurs. And we’ve just been doing this for a long time. And everyone’s become a lot more successful in the last five years since we’ve been doing it. So that’s just my way of getting people together. That’s my way of quote, unquote, networking.

Joshua Chin 7:39

I like to see you’re building you’re essentially building a framework for networking around your strengths and what what you like, versus going out to events and conferences and meeting people you may not win, like,

Eric Siu 7:53

literally like I will pick the people I want to hang out for like for dinner like if I go speak at a conference, I’m just going to handpick the people that I want or sometimes I might open up to a few more people to meet some more people. And then for my my the mastermind, you can call it a conference as well. I had picked the people I want to hang out with there and I had people pick the people that I want to learn from and then maybe every now and then like I’ll invite like a speaker. No, the event that you went to we had like a like Alex Hormozi Cody Sanchez, Leila Hormozi. De we had, you know, Patrick Campbell, right. We had a lot of a lot of amazing people that came to speak there. But I’m actually focusing more now on the people of the event, but we can talk about that later.

Joshua Chin 8:30

Gotcha. Yeah, I so the event I was at your mastermind was was incredible, not just because of the speakers, but the people they’ve curated in the room as well. The people that attended were of at least a certain caliber, they were humble, they had similar values, they all wanted to grow. And they’re all very, very willing to share what they what they knew, and what they didn’t know. And I think that made all the difference in the success of the event. And so did your dinners and the dinner that you you put together with a bunch of yours and think Noah Kagan was there as well. And that was a that was a fun time. So I think that you have a gift in curating and I told you this before you have a really keen sense of of judging people and identifying the right folks in the your camera just to talk like that.

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