How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Sabri Suby, founder and head of growth at of King Kong .
Current gig: Founder and head of growth at King Kong
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Current mobile device: iPhone 7+, Brown Apple Case, Beats by Dre Wireless earphones
Current computer: 27-inch Mac desktop, MacBook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: Focused
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
iBooks: I devour books – but mostly by listening to audio educational books. Every moment that I’m not either at my desk, on a call or with my family, I’m listening to books and audio programs. Particularly when I am in my car – it is one of the biggest life hacks that I’ve discovered. My iPhone is filled with hundreds of audio books, I’m constantly learning.
Flux: I spend a lot of time looking at screens and this awesome app makes the colour of your computer display adapt to the time of day - warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Why is this important? It’s been scientifically proven that the blue light generated from screens messes with your circadian rhythm and results in you having less REM sleep. Flux fixes that.
Grammarly: I send hundreds of emails daily, and write tonnes of copy, and this app has my back. It’s a supercharged spell checker for pretty much every application.
What social network do you find the most useful?
They are all what I call ‘time vampires’. I’ve actually deleted them from my phone in an effort to stay more focused.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
Sales and marketing are the oxygen to a business. If you can solve the biggest problem that all businesses face, ‘How do I get more customers?’, you’re 80% of the way there. I understood very early on that customer acquisition and getting your clients results is senior to everything else.
I obsessed over creating a predictable and scalable way to acquire customers, and knew what my costs were, right down to the dollar. This hasn’t changed and I still use this disciplined approach today.
The other most important lesson was learning to stay laser-focused on the goal at hand and to take unrelenting action to achieve this goal daily, without getting distracted. In my first business I definitely had a bad case of shiny object syndrome, and would often get distracted and taken off course.
I have a firm grip on this now and am ruthlessly committed to achieving everything I’ve set out to achieve.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
That the goal posts of success keep moving. I used to play out the scenario in my head of how it would feel when I would hit my first million. It was so visceral - I could almost hear the music playing in the background and feel the temperature on my skin.
I thought I would be so happy once I hit that illusive $1 million in revenue. By the time that had come, I was already eying my next goal and it wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be.
Every time I shatter my targets, there is another one right there waiting. It’s like the horizon, you never really reach it.
I was certainly surprised by this forever yearning to do more and be better, no matter the stakes.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
What's your sleep routine like?
Up at 5am, in bed by 9pm.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Your revenue and success is directly proportionate to the amount of value you add to your marketplace clients. Constantly look for ways you can add more value than anyone else is willing, or can do. Then spread that message with a marketing flamethrower to every corner of your market and become omnipresent.
If you get this right, the rest will look after itself.