How a 17-year-old got a $150,000+ job with me

This email is from THIS podcast – iTunesSpotify

It’s 2006.

My buddy Dave McClure introduced me to a guy named Aaron who was building a product called (at the time it was called MyMint).

I was super impressed. “This is the best product I’ve ever seen,” I told him.

I noticed he was looking for a Director of Marketing – so I pitched him on why I would be a great fit.

He laughed at me. “But you don’t know anything about marketing.”

Fair point. So I spent the next week creating a 6-month marketing plan and launch strategy. Over 80 hours of researching online, reading Seth Godin’s books, and working on this plan for FREE.

I reached back out to Aaron and said, “If you like this plan, I’ll execute it for 3 months and then you can pay me a six-figure salary.”

See my full pitch deck


He LOVED it! He hired me, we executed the plan, and it crushed.

Only 3 years later, Mint sold for $170M to Intuit.

This “permissionless” strategy works if you want to land a job, get clients, or even sell a product.

Most people ask, “How can I help you?” or “What can I do to work with you?”

The problem with that approach is that by asking without showing, you’re actually making them do MORE work to figure out how you can help and if you’re any good.

Since Million Dollar Weekend has been out, I get hundreds of DMs like this a day.

The probability that someone will go out of their way to figure out who you are and what you can do is much lower than if you showed them that you can do the job.

Think, “How do I make this a no-brainer for them?”

Don’t offer to do free work, just do it.

Here’s how Jay Yang, a high schooler convinced me to pay him $150,000+ to work with me.

Jay reached out to Jeremy, my former Creative Director for our YouTube channel with a 19-page pitch deck that broke down all the things that sucked about my social media and email.

See Jay’s full pitch deck

He also created 9 pieces of content that was ready to be published. 

Immediately, that showed me two things:

  1. He had done his homework
  2. He knew what he was talking about

Now Jay runs all our social and email marketing – and is making more than his teachers while in high school.

Anytime someone uses this approach, I always hire them and never regret it.

Another example:

5 years ago, Jeremy Mary reached out and wanted to help with my Instagram. At the time, Instagram wasn’t my priority. But he kept sending me examples of content that I could post immediately.

He said, “Why don’t you let me run your Instagram for free for two more weeks, and if you like it you can start paying me.”

Jeremy eventually became my YouTube producer and helped me grow the channel to over 1,000,000+ subscribers.

Now he runs his own YouTube title/thumbnail agency and has an awesome podcasted called Backstage Careers.

Don’t offer to do the work, just do it.

Outwork your inexperience

The coolest thing about this approach is you don’t have to have any experience or money to get started.

All you have to do is put some effort BEFORE you reach out.

If you do this enough times, I promise you you’ll get 6-7-figure opportunities.

It’s not free work, it’s pre-work

A lot of people may think that doing free work isn’t worth it because they don’t know that they’ll get paid.

Instead of viewing it as free work, see it as pre-work.

Best case? You get the job.

Worst case? You learn and build your portfolio.

If you want a job, you have to create it yourself.

Last example:

Mitchell Cohen saw that I was doing a charity bike ride called SumoRide. He asked if he could volunteer for it. He did such a phenomenal job that I asked him to volunteer again.

He established trust and showed that he was a hard and smart-working person.

Now Mitchell runs content and helps with influencers at AppSumo.

Just do 1% more to stand out. It doesn’t have to be anything super huge.

  • Create a video
  • Make a pitch deck
  • Publicly break down someone else’s work

Persistence beats resistance

Some of these people may not respond. Sometimes the timing isn’t right.

But eventually, by repeating this process, you’ll build a portfolio of work to showcase and people will start coming to you because of your work.

That’s the power of pre-work.

I can’t wait to see what opportunities you create! 💚

Rooting for you,

Noah 🌮


Ps. I’ve always struggled to find the perfect software tool for my content and business… so we did something about it! My team and I recently launched – a curated directory to find the best software for solopreneurs. Check it out! 🌮

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