Focus keeps me in the moment. Focus prevents me from getting distracted by the FOMO of my peers’ successes. Focus helps me… focus! It’s a beautiful thing that took a long time to hone.
Dee Deng is an Australian entrepreneur of Chinese heritage, known for growing his agency Right Hook Digital into a multiple 7 figure agency within 14 months of launching the company. Dee describes himself as the quintesential “Chinese parent’s worst nightmare,” because he abruptly decided to drop out of law school to instead pursue the freedom and personal fulifillment offered by an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
After losing it all on his first start up company, Dee was changed forever. However, he acknowledges that this life lesson provided him with the platform he needed to learn about sales and growth marketing. These are the skills that allowed him to launch his next and current venture, Right Hook Digital.
As Right Hook Digital’s CEO, Dee Deng helps ambitious businesses achieve their growth goals using top-of-class growth marketing tactics and strategic Facebook advertising. He is also the companies top sales person and driving force behind their client acquisition strategy. Dee Deng loves helping successful businesses scale with his agency, spending time with his family, traveling the world as a digital entrepreneur, and lending his advice and acumen to digital entrepreneurs around the globe as a public speaker and online influencer.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Before starting Right Hook, my cofounder Scott Seward and I both came from the client-side and we both felt the very acute pain of dealing with consultants and agencies that could talk a great game but simply couldn’t deliver – whether that is results, attention to detail or customer service.
And we both put it down to the fact that most marketers are just that – marketers and not entrepreneurs. Which meant that they simply could never understand the entrepreneur’s perspective.
We knew we could fix that. We’re entrepreneurs in our own right – having experience & expertise in growing our own brands, deploying our own marketing & advertising skills.
And that was how Right Hook was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Building a nascent growth agency & having our own fast-paced growth targets essentially means that while my days are very structured, I hardly have a ‘typical day’. And I love how that constantly keeps me on my toes.
My role requires me to oscillate between our clients’ growth strategies as well as our own – and the only way I can ensure productivity without being overwhelmed is by having a clear vision of where my team and I are headed, and having robust yet agile processes.
This Big Picture/Small Details framework keeps me effective and productive – and without it, life would be a mess!
How do you bring ideas to life?
My opinion is that when it comes to executing on ideas – far too many people ‘strategize’ for too long, causing them to lose momentum. I used to be one of those people.
Now I prefer deploying the ‘Forrest Gump Method’ – I determine if a new idea falls within our company vision and if so, draft an initial framework & hypothesis and I execute with the mindset of testing, experimenting & learning.
Run, Forrest, Run! Because while you’re busy ‘strategizing’, your competition is busy executing.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The democratizing of consumer sales via eCommerce excites the hell out of me! And I truly believe that while eCommerce has been around for awhile, we’re barely scratching the surface of its potential.
Literally anyone who is enterprising and resourceful enough can start selling products and grow a sizable business – just armed with a laptop and an internet connection.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Practicing focus keeps me productive.
Focus allows me to avoid new shiny object syndrome. Focus keeps me in the moment. Focus prevents me from getting distracted by the FOMO of my peers’ successes. Focus helps me… focus! It’s a beautiful thing that took a long time to hone.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The top piece of advice that I would give my younger self is to drop the ego, be ok with sucking at something.
My ego used to prevent me from asking questions and seeking any advice or help. I felt like I had to act like I had all the answers.
It also made me hyper sensitive to what other people thought about me.
That was really stupid of me – my ego stifled my learning, burned bridges and eventually drove my life savings close to zero.
Drop the ego, stupid. You’ll be way more successful in way less time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Just because anyone can be a successful entrepreneur doesn’t mean that everyone can. And that’s ok.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Execute, learn, improve. Over and over and over again.
Only by executing will you learn, improve & progress. That also means that you will most likely have multiple failures – what you do with these failures are the moments that determine your mettle as an entrepreneur.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be authentic & focus on others. Unequivocally.
No matter what I do – my sole attention is on how I can give more value to the other person than I receive. This is regardless of whether this other person is a partner, client, someone on my team or someone watching my content.
This guiding principle has helped me grow in every aspect – from my business to my network and professional relationships.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first venture, an online marketplace that I founded in 2014 nearly broke me in 2015 – financially and emotionally. In my head, I felt like I was the laughing stock of my local entrepreneur community and an utter failure.
However, being as competitive as I am and having a family to support meant that rolling over was not an option.
I took stock of the resources I had available to me, pivoted to offering video & marketing services and cold-called & emailed every business in my area.
Within 2 weeks, I had closed around $45,000 of revenue and never looked back since then.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you lack capital to invest in inventory or building software – but have a skill that others are willing to pay for (either to learn or to have executed for them), then do what we did: monetize your expertise and start an agency or consultancy.
Not only can you drive early revenue without the overhead of purchasing inventory, you will also get to quickly & intimately learn about other industries & businesses as you work with them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Buying dinner for a table of fellow entrepreneurs & marketers – what else is better than sharing stories and strategies over dim sum?
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use Asana for our organizing our entire company’s projects – internal & client-facing.
This way, our clients have full transparency over the work we’re collaborating on and our team gets to keep everyone on time and on track.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Ray Dalio’s Principles. Because success leaves clues, and this book is stacked full of them!
What is your favorite quote?
To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities – Bruce Lee.
- Focus on giving value to others and you WILL reap the benefits.
- The ego is the enemy – be very ok with asking for help.
- Churchill once said: ‘Success is not final; failure is not fatal…’ – keep that fire in your belly and keep pushing.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.