Nik is the founder of Simple Format, a marketing agency that specializes in helping sell out events using social media. Nik found his spark and passion for entrepreneurship after spending his college years leading a team of student engineers to develop an innovative Hyperloop pod for Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Quite literally building the future is what excites Nik to do what he does and he plans to take lessons learned and seed funding from Simple Format to start his next venture and do just that.
Where did the idea for Simple Format come from?
I came up with the idea that eventually led to Simple Format a few summers ago when I took an engineering internship at Northrop Grumman. I had only been hired for just a few weeks and I quickly realized that working as an employee did not suit me well and that entrepreneurship would be the only path that could satisfy me.
I started out by thinking of ways I could fund the things I really wanted to do in life and chose to start out by helping other people build their businesses through marketing and learn on their dollar.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is fairly routine. I wake up early, go to the gym or do yoga, meditate, practice daily affirmations, plan my work day, and get to work. In the evenings, after my work day, I like to spend my time learning new things.
There are two things that help me be most productive: daily meditation and a routine schedule. My meditation practice helps me appreciate what I have, focus on the future I want, and set intentions for the future I want. I find this meditation practice helps me focus on what I want daily and I can’t help but feel in alignment afterward.
Routine scheduling helps me standardize everything and be really efficient at it. The most important thing I get out of routine scheduling is having a consistent bedtime and wake up time. I find that I sleep better and have more energy in the day when I follow a consistent sleep schedule.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to leverage that initial excitement of a new promising idea by diving in headfirst and developing it out non-stop until I have a minimum viable product/service to test with.
Also, don’t let logic kill your ideas in the early stages. It’s a deadly killer that stops a lot of good ideas from actually happening. Just because you don’t have all the details figured out doesn’t mean that the idea won’t work!
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me the most is the growing accessibility to space. I think in this decade we will see 1000x more people going to space than the previous decade. Space will no longer be accessible to just astronauts and the ultra-wealthy and that’s super exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Working out for sure. Being productive takes energy. I find that staying fit and being on top of my health is the #1 thing that helps me have more energy and stay productive longer.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Success does not happen in a vacuum. Don’t try to succeed on your own. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Find people that are where you want to be and learn from them. You’ll succeed much faster and the experience will be much better overall.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Anyone who isn’t an entrepreneur thinks that being one is a cool, glamorous thing. You might see that in the media, but it’s probably only 1% of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. The other 99% is all the un-sexy stuff that they don’t portray in the media.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I dedicate time every day to working on my mindset through meditation and daily affirmations. I’m quite a logical person, but I find that doing these practices helps me tremendously. Being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park. If you can start every day feeling good and having a clear mind wouldn’t you give 30 minutes of your day to helping you get into that state of mind?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Leveraging Facebook ads to build an automated lead gen pipeline for my business. I built a marketing funnel that finds event organizers on Facebook and converts them into booked strategy calls on my calendar. This has helped me build a steady pipeline of new business that takes no effort after it is set up. If I want more leads, I can just turn on the budget on my ads.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Trying to start my agency without any outside help. I spent months wasting time and spinning my wheels. I learned to stop trying to figure out everything myself and rather stand on the shoulders of giants and learn from people who have been there and done it before.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Take a career path you have expertise in and build an education program with the same business model Lambda school uses.
The more we can replicate an education system where an education provider is incentivized to actually help students get real jobs at no upfront cost the better. In my opinion.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently donated a good portion of money to a non-profit called Memoirs of WWII. One of the things that drives me to succeed as an entrepreneur is having the ability to make more so I can give more. Nothing makes me happier than getting to support causes I care about like honoring the heroes that fought for our freedom by documenting their story.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Superhuman. It’s an email app that literally makes you superhuman when it comes to emails. I highly highly recommend it if email productivity is important to you.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of my favorite books is Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger. I highly recommend giving it a read. It’s some of the best wisdom and advice you can get in business and in life from one of the greatest investors around today.
What is your favorite quote?
Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat. Fortune Favors the Bold.
- Don’t let logic kill your ideas in the early stages of development
- Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Get help from people who are where you want to be.
- Dedicate time each day to working on your mindset. Your thoughts lead to actions.
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.