The Unknown Multi-Millionaire

The other day I randomly came across a post I could hardly believe on Reddit.

My first thought: Aha sureee - I wAs bOrN yEsTeRdAy aNd mAdE a GaZiLliOn

But I stopped for a second... Why am I being judgmental?

Who knows, maybe this guy really did exit his business for $500M.

I made a protein shake and sat down. I knew I was going to be digging for a while.

Who is this guy? Within a few minutes, I found his Twitter.

Hmm, only 10,000 followers.

My BS meter was ringing.

I would know about anyone whos this successful right?

I was about to call it a night until I read this in an article:

In 2011, Cookson sold Myprotein for 瞿58 million in cash plus shares. Those shares earned him another 瞿283 million

I held my breath while I did the calculation

Thats $429M dollars today.

Okay, maybe this Oliver Cookson guy is the real deal. I looked down at my desk

Holy sh*t.

From that moment I decided to study his success. It taught me 3 important lessons Ill share with you in just a minute.

But first, who is Oliver Cookson?

Oliver left school at 16.

With no fancy degree, mentor, and hardly any cash he started MyProtein with $500.

Despite what you see most entrepreneurs do in the movies, Oliver held on to his day job. (Gasp, I know).

Naturally being risk-averse he wanted to make sure he didnt make any poor decisions that would put him out of business.

The original protein powder was a homemade blend of whey protein, ice cream flavoring, and sweetener. It started small with an order or two. But each day the orders got bigger and bigger.

Within a few months, the mailman was asking Oliver to have someone else pick up the orders.

Fast forward 7 years later and he found himself exiting MyProtein for $500M.

Heres what you could learn from a man who built a $500M company with no mentor, no money, and no idea what he was doing.

Out of The Box Marketing

Oliver is a big fan of alternative marketing.

Alternative marketing is simply marketing your product in ways that arent considered mainstream. (Think Facebook Ads or Influencers).

Its typically cheaper and almost always untapped.

One of Olivers biggest drivers for growth initially was alternative marketing. He gave a partial cut to a bodybuilding forum owner to have a sticky post that stayed at the top.

Fun Fact: No one knows this but Synthetic Mind actually started as a post on Reddit. Its how we got our first 100 subs.

(Id link the post here but it got banned no one said the forum owners love self-promotion)

Another example is Zack who we interviewed a few weeks ago. Zack used Reddit to get his first 3,000 users for his app FireTexts.

Alternative Marketing can get pretty extreme.

My favorite example of extreme alternative marketing comes from the co-founder of Morning Brew.

He had a crazy idea to give out 50 free Super Bowl tickets to anyone who would hold up a sign with a QR code that directed to their site.

They didnt end up doing it

But the goal was to be advertised on one of the biggest platforms in the U.S. for a fraction of the cost.

As far as marketing goes, thinking outside of the box can go a long way.

Persistence Pays

If you've ever seen the Grand Canyon, you know persistence is a strong mf.

I read a book earlier this year called The Slight Edge.

Ill save you the 300-page read. (Although I would recommend it)

In a nutshell, it talked about the power of small daily choices that lead to success.

The biggest difference between those who are successful and those who fail is what habits they keep.

Successful people continue the habits that got them from failure to survival in the first place.

Compounding effects of daily habits chart

Success is found in consistent pressure over a long time period.

For Oliver, it took him 7 years to go from -$500 to $500M.

So, be impatient in your actions and patient in your expectations.

Money Goes To The Most Passionate

Oliver was passionate about weightlifting.

He didn't just know his target audience. He was his target audience

Theres a Steve Jobs quote that goes something like You have to have a lot of passion for what youre doing. At some point, it will become so hard that any rational person would give up.

In other words, when youre passionate about what youre building, it shows.

For instance, Oliver knew exactly what weightlifters wanted in their protein.

More Passion = Better Products

So, in order to build something youre proud of, you need to start where your passion is.

If you enjoyed Olivers story, share it with a friend or family member. As a bonus, youll get access to our Private Discord.

Youll be able to join our weekly live calls with the Founders of Synthetic Mind.

What'd you think of today's edition?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.