Amish Shah is a conscious entrepreneur best known for developing innovative platforms, crafting impressive marketing campaigns, and creating rapid business/sales growth models built to scale. He has run thousands of different advertising campaigns resulting in over $50 million in sales.
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Worst Entrepreneur moment
- Amish had it all. Millions, cars, mansions… and he wound up crying under his dripping roman shower head. How did he get here?
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- Core passion is what drives us to success… plus hard work!
What has you FIRED up?
- The Deep Origins Documentary. Watch it now!
Small Business Resource
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Best Business Book
- Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
Amish: Of course I am ready to set this thing on fire.
John: Amish a conscious entrepreneur, best known for development innovative platforms, crafting impressive marketing campaigns, and creative rapid business sales growth models built to scale. He’s run thousands of different advertising campaign resulting in over $50 million dollars in sales. Amish, say what's up to Fire Nation and share what's going on in your world right now.
Amish: Sure. So how is everyone doing out there? Amish here. And what I'm up to, well I've been up to some pretty cool things recently. I started a company most recently about three years ago, and made it my main focus, which is actually very good for me, and it's called Deep Origins. And Deep Origins is really focused around bringing ancient wisdom back to the world. Basically what we do is work with some of the world’s best teachers, authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs to bring you kind of cool transformational and authentic multimedia content, like movies and documentaries, for evolving different areas of your life, or almost every aspect of your life.
In just under two years we have hundreds of thousands of people onboard already with topics around ancient civilizations, meditation, yoga, and so we're really excited about where it's going. And before that my experience was more around technology and selling software and online marketing and mobile apps. So what I've done is kind of combine my old world with really what I'm passionate about, so it's kind of cool and I'm really excited about it.
John: Well, I find that incredibly cool. I'm sucker for the old times, the deep origins as you put it. I love that. I was an American studies major in college, and I'm excited to personally being diving into some of that. You know what I love Amish, is that you’ve kind of gone on some different journeys yourself.
John: You’ve been on to different areas of entrepreneurship and just life in general. We're gonna be hitting some pretty cool stories, but before we get into that I always start with the one minute mindset questions. These are five questions for five insights into your mind. Number one being ideally, what does the first 80 minutes of your day look like?
Amish: The first 80 minutes of my day are kind of interesting. I get up, and I usually the first thing I do is brush my teeth, that’s just like a habit. And beyond that I oil pull, which is something that’s interesting. I pull a sesame seed through my oil to help clean my mouth, actually. It's another – it's one of those ancient things I guess could you say. So I clean my mouth, and then I wash my face, and then I'll drink some water. And then usually what I like to do is to take a shower. And if I work out, I usually try to do it before I take a shower.
So there's always a workout routine. You know, it's a couple times a week that I try to get some form of exercise in, whether it's walking or working out or yoga or something. And then after I take a shower I meditate. I mediate for about 20 minutes, and then I'll go eat breakfast. And after breakfast I get to work. But that’s pretty consistent of what my day looks like every morning. And I've made it into a ritual and it gets me grounded and set for the day basically.
John: What's your biggest weakness, Amish, as an entrepreneur?
Amish: My biggest weakness, I think, is – it's funny that I say that it's one of my biggest weaknesses is I’d say consistency. I'm really good at doing this every single morning, but there's other areas of my life where I'm not as consistent. I think as an entrepreneur it's like I have a lot of ideas, and I want to do all these ideas, and I want to stay positive at the same time while trying to do all these ideas, so there's nothing consistent. So that seems to be like one of the – you know, consistency and being happy, and consistency and making sure I have balance in all aspects of my life.
And it’s a weakness because you constantly have to find that. it's interesting you’ll see that sometimes you're doing too much work, or sometimes you're not doing enough work, you're working on too many projects, it's an entrepreneurs journey I guess you could say.
John: It's a struggle. I will say this; I mean, I've experienced it myself for sure. And for you, Amish, what I love – and I think it's a great lesson for Fire Nation – is that you do have a lot of consistency with your morning routine. And if you're going to start somewhere with being consistent throughout your day, start with your morning and then build off of that.
Amish: That’s totally. You nailed it.
John: Thanks buddy. Maybe then you move into the midmorning, and then before you know it you're consistent up to your afternoon, so really cool stuff. And Amish, you have some weaknesses, we just talked about it, but what's your biggest strength?
Amish: I think my biggest strength is my passion and my just – I don’t give up. If I want to do something I just do it, and I just continuously just keep pushing and pushing. And so that allows me to have a bigger vision of where I want to go. So I've always been – like, you know, I can create that vision, and I can go and get it, and create kind of like those steps to get the I guess you could say. And I've done it multiple times. I've built many multi-million dollar companies, and I've sold companies before, and I feel like I have that vision.
But again, it was that consistency where I didn’t have anything that I really, really want to focus on, and that’s why Deep Origins is very new for me. And it's like: wow, I'm really just gonna work this out. And so that vision just plays deeper and deeper and deeper. And I think every entrepreneur’s life is having that understanding what is that core passion that’s driving you to do what you do.
John: Perseverance and persistence, those are two words that are critical for all of us entrepreneurs, to make sure that we're realizing as part of our repertoire, as part of our tool kit. But the reality is – and I'm glad you brought this up – is that probably for a little while, and this understandable at the beginning part of the journey, you were doing what you thought was – you know, you were gonna have some interest in, but also that was gonna generate some serious revenue. And a lot of items that kind of brings our focus away from that core passion into what we think we should be doing.
Amish: Exactly, where’s the money at?
John: Where’s the money? But now, I mean, you're at this place because you’ve been so successful for so long, you can say you know what, I'm just gonna cut out all this white noise. I'm gonna get down to my core passion, and I'm gonna see what that is. I'm gonna give myself some space to recognize that. And you’ve recognized it as Deep Origins. I'm excited to see where this goes because now that you're combing passion with your persistence and your perseverance – and then plus your skill sets – this could be huge. Or the great thing is if it’s not, as long as you're enjoying it, that’s good, too because of you prior success. There's just a no lose situation here.
Amish: One of the biggest things I also have to attribute to all this is marketing, you know, is that it's huge. And I'm just combining the marketing skills that I've gained as it's huge. And I see a lot of entrepreneurs that have great product ideas, but they don’t have the marketing. Or maybe they have the marketing, but their product is not that good. But combining the two is where that sweet spot really is awesome.
John: What's a habit you wish you had?
Amish: Just being more positive. I think that – and I said that a little bit before, but I wish – you know, I think as entrepreneurs we tend to downplay ourselves a lot because we're constantly in competition with ourselves, if you know what I'm saying. So I think I wish I had the habit of just saying: no, this is awesome; no, that’s awesome; no, that’s awesome; and taking everything as awesome. And I've trained my brain to do this and I feel like I'm getting better at. It's just training your brain to think like with everything that’s happening and coming your way as awesome and there's a way to put into perspective to your benefit, basically.
John: So I think I know what your answer is going to be on this next one, but this is your interview, you're the guest. What's the one thing you're most fired up about right now?
Amish: The thing that I'm really fired up about right now is this movie that we're filming on ancient science. It's been a long time in the making, and it's been two years since we've been filming. We've interviewed a dozen doctors across the United States about this ancient science of Ayurveda, and it's really powerful. An we're really just here to help bring that knowledge to everybody through a movie format and many other products and things that we have lined up for that community.
Because we start realizing now that our health is so important. And that just modern day medicine, what most people don’t understand is the allopathy is like the number three killer in the United States, and that’s just due to doctor or pharmaceutical error.
John: And describe that?
Amish: It's due to doctor error or pharmaceutical error. So basically it's what we are prescribing our patients nowadays basically is wrong. And so that is the number three killer in America and most people don’t realize that. And it's an important thing, and we believe that Ayurveda could quite possibly be the solution to that.
John: Wow. This is not only worth your passion about, but Amish this could be work that’s having such a massive impact on so many people. So the combination of the two, that is amazing stuff. You didn’t just wake one day and say: hey, you know what, my name’s Amish; I'm gonna do X, Y, and Z. We all have a story. We all have a journey. That’s where I want you to take us now is to your journey, and specifically within that journey take us to one moment in time: your worst entrepreneurial moment and tell us that story.
Amish: Okay. This is pretty wild. I've always been an entrepreneur since I was a little kid. I can’t even tell you when I started; I was probably like ten years old. I used to go door to door selling Christmas cards. That’s how I started. And I used to deliver newspapers, and I used to shovel driveways in New Jersey of people in my neighborhood and mow people's lawns. That’s how I made money. I had to make money. That’s the only way I had to support myself and my family so I had to do it. And it was really cool. You learn a lot through that process.
When I was 16 – this was in 1996 – I got really good with computers. I was very early on the computers, had my 486 that I built myself and had the modem to dial up into all these cool services like America Online and all that stuff. My mind quickly shifted: how can I make money online? And again, this was 1996. As a 16-year-old kid, you're very curious about everything. So I got a little bit into hacking, to be honest with you. It was a crazy journey as I got into it. It was just a powerful – it was almost like a movement that we had created at the time.
It was to basically give away free software – give away software. So it was kind of like a wild idea. Anyway, we got really good at what we were doing and hacking and computers, and we were, I guess you could say, quite ahead of our time. The FBI had come to my house when I was 16 years old, and the police and everybody. I had probably ten cop cars outside of my house. The neighborhood was all around my house wondering what the hell was going on.
It was because I was trying to figure out how to make money online. We did some right things, we did some wrong things and it was just crazy, being 16 years old and you’re like: oh, my God, what’s going to happen to me? I'm in high school. I still haven’t even started my life, and I was just like, wow. So anyway, I ended up going to court. I had 17 charges against me; it was like ridiculous.
And the judge in 1996 was like, “I don't even know what the internet is, I don't even know what half of this means. You're not like every other kid that kind of steals or is drinking or doing drugs or getting into fights. You get decent grades and you're doing something that I don't even know about; it’s on the internet.” It was just crazy because what they said was if you used your power for good, you could change the world. And it was my worst moment ever because the whole entire neighborhood found out about it. There was a press release about it. It was on news stations, it was in newspapers. I was like this outcasted kid, basically. It was tough.
They couldn’t use my name because I was underage, and stuff like that but it was tough because my whole neighborhood knew, and then it affected my parents and my parents’ friends; it went deep. So that was honestly something that’s stuck with me since. In my journeys of becoming an entrepreneur, I knew at some point in my life that I wanted to do something online, and that was my first step, I guess you could say. And that was my worst moment.
John: That’s fascinating, especially because of the timing that it was. Even the judge was just like: I have no idea why you're in my courtroom. I don’t really know what it is you could have done but I'm just gonna go with my gut here; I'm gonna go with my instincts because you seem like a good kid. But I'm going to give you a life lesson, here. And here you are today, potentially who knows the impact this could have. It’s not obnoxious to say millions of lives could be affected and potentially saved with this knowledge when you say it’s the No. 3 killer of the human race. That’s insane right now.
What I kind of want you to do, Amish – and just do this in one sentence. This is my challenge I'm throwing out to you. Sum it up in one sentence. What’s the one takeaway you want us, Fire Nation, to walk away with?
Amish: I think that one sentence I would say to everybody is just believe in what you have and understand your core values, and be present to what you're doing in this moment. Don’t get caught up in anything that’s kind of beyond this moment. And I think a lot of us get caught up in the bigger picture of everything. But it’s really about right now.
John: It’s all about right now. I love that. So Amish, we’re gonna shift now but we’re going to keep in the story format. So I loved how I felt I was in that courtroom with you. That’s the kind of story we want to paint. So share with us an epiphany this time, an aha moment that you’ve had at some point in your journey. And again, take us to that moment and explain that to us.
Amish: This was a good one. You're going to like this one. This is another kind of awesome moment.
John: I love how you preface these. For the worst moment, you're like: oh, this is a doozie. Everybody's like turning up the volume.
Amish: Come on, come on, turn it up a little bit more. All right. I was pretty good at making money. When I was 24 years old, I started – I quit my job and became – I had made my first million dollars at 25, in 2005, actually, online. From that moment onwards, I knew I was never going back to the job again and just started creating awesome marketing campaigns. Before I knew it, I was doing a million to $2 million a year for a couple years consistently. I was happy. I lived in New Jersey. I lived in New Jersey, I lived in a townhouse, I drove an Infinity. I had one or two employees. I was like, “I'm doing all right.”
And so at some point, I wanted to move to California. So I moved to California and I had met a bunch of new people. I didn’t know a soul out here. I had met a bunch of new people in the marketing scene, outside the marketing scene, in the entrepreneurial space a little bit. I had stumbled upon some really cool advertising campaigns and in put those up, and before I knew it my company had doubled. We were doing $5.5 million a year. We got into the INC 500, 10th fastest growing company in San Diego. It was nuts. We had people taking us on private jets to Vegas. I had surrounded myself with Ferraris and Maseratis and a beach house in La Jolla and I could see the whole, entire ocean. I had a pool on my roof and an elevator. We were just crushing it. It was crazy. It was insane. It was just like I was living a rock star lifestyle. I was going out, I was taking limos to clubs, I was partying. I was just like nuts. It was a nonstop party, basically. I was eating whatever I wanted, and before I knew it, about two years into this doubling the company consistently for two or three years, and we were just like rock and roll and had employees, we had a chef there cooking for people. It was crazy.
John: Slash debauchery.
Amish: Slash debauchery. But you know, I had surrounded myself with all this stuff. And as I surrounded myself with all of this stuff, I realized that none of this stuff was actually making me any happier, and none of this stuff was actually going towards any purpose in life of what I actually wanted to do or what I wanted to achieve as a human being. I was wasting it all on all of this stuff. I didn’t even really know why. And so I reflected back for a moment, and I remember this exact moment.
I was in this house and I had this Roman shower, and all this water was trickling on me. By this time I had gained probably 20 pounds or so – 25 pounds – and I was looking outside of my window. I could see the ocean and my Ferrari and my Maserati – and I had an Audi – were sitting all right there in front of me. I'm looking out of my shower and I just start crying. I just start bawling. I'm like: I hate my life. For the first time, I actually thought that I wanted to kill myself. And I was like: what the hell is going on with me right now?
I never used to feel like this ever in my life, ever in my life. I was like maybe when I was 16 years old and I was going through puberty or something like that, but ever. It was pretty wild. And I was like 28 years old, 29 years old. I was, I guess, relatively young in terms of entrepreneur and success, I guess you could say. It was new to me and I just didn’t even know what I was doing.
So I went back and I just thought, when was I the happiest in my life? And it was all these aha moments. I was like: what do I really love doing? Why am I doing this online marketing stuff/ Why am I doing this mobile appreciate stuff? Why am I even surrounding myself with any of this, right? And I went back to my roots. The happiest times of my life have always been when I was researching ancient wisdom and researching ancient stuff that I'm really, really just truly passionate about.
And so that aha moment was like: oh, my God, I haven’t meditated in three or four years, or something like that. I haven’t’ even thought about it. I've just partied. And I stopped working out, and I didn’t care about my health and I was just like a mean person. I had turned into someone I wasn’t. And I was like: oh, my God. I went to the doctor. I had a fatty liver. My adrenals were kicking in. I was about to have failure. My cholesterol was way through the roof. It was just one of those moments where I was like: man, what am I doing with my life, honestly? What am I freaking doing with my life right now?
And I just had to get rid of it all. I really just had to get rid of everything. I got rid of all the cars, got rid of the house, got rid of everything and moved into a smaller place, just more timid. My wife, you know, was just like, “We’re gonna do this together,” and started kind of taking care of me, getting me juice, cooking healthier meals, just really getting my path back on track. It was a huge aha moment for me, that none of that stuff matters.
A lot of us as entrepreneurs, we always look at like oh, we want this and we want that and we want that, but it’s like that one thing that creates deeper – I don't know, like inner recesses in us, you know? Rather than just doing and acting out of passion and love, basically.
John: The biggest takeaway, Amish, that I'm getting from this – and I'm getting a ton, and Fire Nation, go back and listen to this section a couple times because it gives you such an important clarity to life. There’s a great quote, Amish. It’s by Earl Nightingale. And he said that “success and happiness are the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.” And the key words there being the gradual realization, like actually realizing a dream. Not the actual finish line, but the actual gradual realization of that.
And then not just any ideal, but a worthy ideal. And that’s so critical. So many times I talk to entrepreneurs and I've been guilty of this myself in the past where it’s just nose to the grindstone. We’re sacrificing health, we’re sacrificing happiness, we’re sacrificing everything now because we just think that when we get to that finish line, that life is going to be amazing. But then so often that finish line is standing in a Roman shower with water dripping on us, looking at our Maserati, our Audi and that Ferrari and crying, and saying: should I commit suicide? I'm depressed. Like what is wrong with me?
That is not the finish line that any of us want to get to. We could keep talking about this a lot, Amish, because there’s so many lessons to learn and there’s still some questions that I've got to definitely prod you with right now. But before we get into that, let’s take a minute to thank our sponsors.
Amish, welcome to the Lightning Round, where you get to share incredible resources and mind blowing answers. Sound like a plan?
Amish: Let’s do it.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Amish: Honestly, my parents. They were immigrants from India. We didn’t have much money growing up and they were just basically: “You must go to school and get a degree and do it. That’s what you gotta do. You don’t have a choice. I’m sorry. You can’t start a business. Sorry, not happening.” And so I had all these awesome ideas when I was younger but they never let me do that.
John: So what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Amish: From my mother, actually. She said: “Eat when you eat, play when you play, work when you work.” And then other words, basically: stay present and understand your core values. Stay in that zone.
John: I usually am eating, working, and juggling at the same time. So not taking her advice, but I'm going to start. So Amish, what’s a personal habit that you do have that you believe contributes to your success?
Amish: As I've mentioned before, one of the biggest things I think is just going hard. I'm really good at just finding that passion and going after it and not giving up. I think that’s one of my best personal habits.
John: Do you have an internet resource, like an Evernote, that you can share with our listeners?
Amish: We use Asana for everything in project management. It has drastically changed our life because you can plug things in with Sapier and it has other tools that you can plug right in that give you powerful, powerful, powerful reporting stuff so it’s awesome.
John: Thankfully, this is a private call you and I are on because just yesterday I interviewed the founder of Trello, and I'm sure he’d be heartbroken to hear that.
Amish: Okay. Do you want me to say something else?
John: Nope. I'm just saying that’s a great thing that he’s not on the line right now. So Amish, if you could recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Amish: You know, more recently I read a book called Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish. And that book has really changed my perspective on looking at business from a long term perspective.
John: Yeah. Love Verne, and Scaling Up is an amazing book. And Fire Nation, guess what? I know you love audio so I teamed up with Audible and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audio book for free at eofirebook.com. And Amish, this next question is the last of the Lighting Round but it’s a doozie. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world. Identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Amish: I really believe that the power is going to be in mobile publishing, and I really believe that’s where a lot of this stuff is going. I frequently talk about a lot of mobile stuff because one of my businesses was a mobile publishing company. So I think right now kind of the unspoken opportunity is mobile publishing. If you were to basically have $500 and a laptop, I would say find some content that you can publish and repurpose it and put it together; PLR or master of reseller rights or public domain and just publish it on a bunch of different places and I believe that will at least get you a start onto where you want to go deeper. And I think mobile content publishing in general is the future.
John: Produce content, Fire Nation; don’t just consume it. Don’t just consume. So Amish, we started today on fire, let’s end on fire with you sharing one parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, then we’ll say goodbye.
Amish: The best way to connect with me right now is to go to deeporigins.com/fire and you can check out what we’re up to. We have some cool things that we’re working on, such as the documentary that I mentioned. We have some cool business calendars that you can tap into. We do some mobile publishing and things like that. We’ll put some things up there for you that you guys can totally check out. You’ll enjoy it.
John: Especially if you're on your mobile phone, Fire Nation.
John: So what’s that parting piece of guidance?
Amish: Do you. That’s my biggest thing. A lot of us want to pretend to be someone that we’re not, and don’t be that person. It’s kind of like that – from Tropic Thunder: I'm the dude who’s playing the dude from another dude or whatever. Like don’t do that. Fake it ‘til you make it is not real. Be yourself. Be authentic and just get it.
John: Just be the dude.
Amish: Be the dude.
John: So Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with Amish and JLD today so keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com and type “Amish” in the search bar. That’s A-M-I-S-H and his show notes page will pop right up with everything that we’ve been talking about: book recommendations, resource, all the great content. And of course, deeporigins.com/fire. Go directly there. He has some gifts for you, waiting for you, Fire Nation. Go snag them. That’ll be linked up on the show notes page, as well.
Amish: Watch the documentary.
John: And watch the documentary, right? So Amish, thank you for sharing your journey today. Fire Nation salutes you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
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