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48 hours with the Tim Ferriss contest winner

I hung out with a Million Dollar Weekend reader for a weekend.

I swear he’s not stoned haha

Eli had just graduated from college and was on a mission to help feed those in need in Philadelphia.

He was the winner of my podcast with Tim Ferriss – who can take the most action in 48 hours. For his grocery store, Eli raised $65,000 in fundraising from working his ass off. His site – was a beautiful idea to help a poor neighborhood in Philly have better access to healthy food via their food stamps.

It was great to spend time with a young, hungry (no pun intended) person and after 48 hours, there were 5 key takeaways that every entrepreneur will benefit from:

1- What’s your #1 goal?

The first observation was there was no clarity in Eli’s business.

Eli had t-shirts. Eli had banners. Eli had business cards. Eli bought a building. Eli helped deliver food at a food bank. Eli hosted events at schools. Eli did many things except the main thing of helping locals in need get healthy food with food stamps

Those are all great things, but the reality is we can’t do everything all at once. The question to answer is: Where are you going SPECIFICALLY?

The point of his grocery business is to get healthy affordable food to those in need.

Once you have your North Star goal, run everything else through that lens. Does it help you get closer to your #1 goal?

Eli set a goal of 200 meals a week for the summer

2- Double down on what’s working

This may be on my tombstone or maybe I’ll have 2 tombstones just to get the point across.

Eli raised 90% of his money through emails and cash donations. Instead of doing DAF, crypto donations, events, etc… We helped focus on what was working.

A few things we updated:

  • We crafted better emails. We focused the emails on encouraging tours of their grocery store with a specific ask for a donation amount (and fewer links for people to go read).



Note from Eli: Since the change, we’ve seen a 300% increase in individual donations and have doubled the number of participants at our hard hat tours!

  • We set up systems. So when Eli was traveling, someone was always sending emails. This is critical. Most businesses stop when the business operator stops. Fix that. Become a business owner instead.
  • We encouraged recurring donations. That way, Eli and his team don’t have to go out hunting every time they want to raise funds.
  • We leveraged psychology. We focused the tours on asking for donations at the END of the tour instead of the next day email (recency bias).
  • Increasing the number of asks. Eli was sending ~10 emails a week, now he’s targeting 10 emails a day.

All this was figured out at one lunch. Look at what’s working and ask yourself, “How can I make it work better?”

This is the same for content creation. “What’s my most popular content and how can I do more of that?”

3- Be proud of what you’ve done.

When meeting a mentor or getting advice from others – it’s easy to call out all the points that aren’t working.

But as long as you’re putting yourself out there and trying things, be proud of your work.

Eli and his friends were CHANGING LIVES (!!) I did my best to constantly validate that his cause was noble and how proud I was of all the efforts he was taking to do something.

Be proud of your current effort AND ambitious for your future.

4- Know your numbers

I asked Eli about his finances and there was no budget. This seems obvious to some, but most entrepreneurs don’t have budgets. But you don’t drive your car without a map, not sure why you’d do your business without one either.

Create a monthly meeting with your team or accountability partners to check on your budget vs actuals. THIS is how you improve.

At AppSumo, we have a whole team dedicated to tracking every penny and creating budgets, models, and forecasts for future decisions. You don’t need that level when you’re starting but some rough numbers you are operating your business off of (Revenue – Expenses = Income).

Numbers removed for privacy

5- Taste the dish

This is something I’m becoming obsessed with: Are you your own customer? If not, become one (or get someone on your team to do it). This is how you know what’s good or bad in your business.

I encouraged Eli to rent a room or space in a place in the neighborhood he’s helping.

I also encouraged him to live on the food stamps or at least that budget for 30 days to truly understand the problems of the people he wants to help.

The better you understand your customers, the better you can help them.

Remember why you do it

Eli can do anything in life. But he’s choosing to focus on helping these people because he cares. I LOVE that. It’s inspiring to me.

Will this business be what he does his entire life? Who knows, but it’s a worthy cause, a big task, and he and his friends will gain so much experience. In times of toughness remember WHY you’re doing it.

Now I’m checking in monthly with Eli to help hold him accountable and support him on his noble quest.


Godspeed young lad!

Noah 🌮


Ps. Thousands of people (just like Eli) are using the strategies in Million Dollar Weekend to change their lives. Want to launch your 7-figure business in 48 hours? Check it out! 💚

Pps. I’m donating $1k to Eli’s group this summer.

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