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👊 How Noah Kagan builds self-discipline as a $270M entrepreneur

and other insights from the life of a CEO

Today marks 52 Tuesdays - a whole year - since I published the very first Habit Example. Time flies when you’re havin’ fun!

In honor of this milestone, I’m giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

To enter:

  1. Share www.habitexamples.com on social media, text, email, or wherever links are shareable.

    1. You get one entry for each place you share the link.

  2. Screenshot your posts, texts, or emails and send them to me at [email protected] (or simply include it in a reply to this email)

  3. One winner will be randomly selected (from all those who send me a screenshot of their share), and announced in next Tuesday’s newsletter!

If you win, you’ll get an email from me to deliver your $50 Gift Card.

Let the games begin!

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⚡️ Estimated read time: 2 minutes 7 seconds.

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Habit Example

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Noah Kagan’s company, App Sumo, did over $80M in business last year alone.

It’s valued at an eye-watering $270M.

But 17 years ago he invented Facebook status updates and built the first version of it’s mobile app - before being fired by Mark Zuckerberg himself.

*womp womp*

So how’d he jump from the unemployment line to his current pile of cash?

By practicing 3 types of self-discipline.

Type 1: Resistance

From 2-4pm, he doesn’t eat anything.

Literally for no reason except that it makes him feel good about himself.

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I like imposing my own self-discipline in things. It helps me realize I can do hard things.

Noah Kagan

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This type of self-discipline is about resisting something you do want to do.

Is there some science about not eating for 2 hours in the afternoon being a fat-burning secret or something?

Probably not.

But Noah doesn’t care - he simply does this to build his own willpower.

That’s the only goal.

Type 2: Resilience

He does 205 push-ups a day.

Not all at once - he does them in spurts of 5-10 at random times throughout the whole day.

At first, I thought 205 was a pretty random number.

Why not an even 200?

Then I heard he set the goal to do 75,000 push-ups this year.

At 205/day he stays right on track.

So this type of self-discipline is about doing a lot of small hard things over time, which both requires and builds resilience.

Type #3: Reckoning

One day Noah went for a ride in his friend’s plane.

It terrified him.

So he decided to get his pilots license.

As soon as he discovered the fear, he knew he needed to extinguish it.

So he’s taken it head-on and has been working on his practice flight hours for a while now.

Best part is, he doesn’t hate flying anymore.

This type of self-discipline is about doing a big thing that really scares you.

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“Almost every time you do that thing you don’t wanna do, it’s worth it.”

Noah Kagan

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Most people wish they had more self-discipline, but they don’t know how to build it.

Noah builds his in 3 simple ways every day, and I guarantee you he could attest to how he’s noticed more willpower in all other areas of his life because of these small things.

So yes - small things do add up.

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Peek into a full day in the life with Noah on his YouTube channel.

Okay had to share this other awesome quote from Noah:

It dawned on me that most great accomplishments have some early vision but the more important thing is that first step.

Dream of making a million dollars. Have to start with $1.

Want to find a life partner. Have to go on 1 date.

Be popular on YouTube. Have to put out 1 video.

It’s critical to have aspirations BUT don’t let those big ones stop you from starting today.”

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Try it

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  1. Pick one type of self-discipline you wanna work on this week: Resistance, Resilience, or Reckoning

  2. Pick a simple daily activity that would help build that type of self-discipline

  3. Try it everyday for a week and see how it makes you feel!

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Inspiration

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Song

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Actual quote from my 4-year-old

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Me: *quietly painting a wall in utter silence*

Her: Dad! Can you please not make so much noise?? I’m trying to sleep!

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Fun sidenote if you’re still reading…

I noticed yesterday that Habit Examples is listed alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newsletter as one of beehiiv’s favorite publications!

- Kody

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P.S. This took 3 hours to write. It only takes you 3 seconds to share.


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