#58 Martyn Cook – 1% Secrets, High-Level Masterminds, and 14+ Years of Experience Building Digital Businesses

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In this episode, Deividas talks with Martyn Cook – co-founder of Noobru (nootropics brand), entrepreneur, and marketer for 14+ years. 

Martyn’s list of achievements includes (but not limited to):

  • Co-founding a software company.
  • Co-founding a high-level digital entrepreneurship mastermind that hosts luxury meet-ups around the world.
  • Building multiple 7-figure eCommerce brands.
  • And somehow, still finding the time to publish 2 books

In this podcast, they cover all of this, and more.

As the longest Sugatan podcast (almost 2 hours) so far, there’s a lot to learn here and it’s highly recommended you put some time aside to listen to the whole thing.

With that out of the way, first, they start the podcast with Martyn’s entrepreneurial journey.

The journey began when Martyn was 14 years old. He had a crush on a girl who was into graphic design and was making websites (which was still new back then). He thought if he’d learned graphic design, he’d be able to get closer to her. While this didn’t work out, he ended up learning important skills that would kickstart his career at an early age.

Later on, with this skill in mind, he started an agency that was helping restaurants with graphic design and creating posters, flyers, menus, and so on. Eventually, his clients started requesting social media services in addition to graphic design. 

This took him down the rabbit hole of Facebook ads and marketing in the early days of 2007.

Back then, if you had a Facebook page and made a post from your page – just about everyone who was following your page would see it (the reach was different back then).

So, if a page had 400,000 likes and you made a post, all of your followers would have seen it.

Eventually, Martin came across a group that was selling Facebook pages. He bought up to 100 different social pages and the total reach all combined was up to 20M – which is more than a lot of TV stations.

He had a traffic gold mine – but no products.

So, this led to him having to learn how to sell and manage products.

Rather than going down the manufacturing road, he decided to do a hybrid-model and used Teespring – a POD where you’d upload your design and the site would manufacture and ship the shirt to the customers.

They were redirecting thousands of people to Teespring, selling tons of shirts daily. But all along, they were pulling customers into Teespring. But what Martyn realized was that the profit was in the follow-up and repeat purchases. Something they couldn’t focus on with Teespring.

That’s when he discovered Shopify in the early days of 2014. Which was a game-changer as they’d be keeping the customers for repeat purchases through email marketing.

After realizing they didn’t have to limit themselves to one brand – the scaling kicked in. They started creating multiple stores, with multiple products, and multiple brands.

While not all of them were successful, Martyn warns entrepreneurs of shiny object syndrome and suggests reflecting on where they are and where they want to go.

They sold most of their brands to focus on one thing at a time.

After a few expensive lessons later, Martyn realized the true importance of understanding why people buy from you.

He recommends calling your customers directly. Start with the ones who bought from you multiple times – the low-hanging fruit. Ask them questions, why they bought the product, what they enjoy about it, and what they feel you could improve on.

This is one of the best ways to truly understand your customers and to improve on your business. You’ll learn about your niche better, your customer personas and avatars, and many other things.

And as an added bonus, you’re more likely to gain repeat customers once they see that you care.

As a day-to-day entrepreneur, 80% of your results probably come from 20% of your time, says Martyn. 

Learning about efficiency and removing procrastination led Martyn to get involved in biohacking and nootropics, which he discusses more in-depth in the podcast.

The success or failure comes as a result of many, many micro-decisions and small actions that when compounded are far greater than the sum of its ingredients, says Martyn. This is also the case with nootropics and biohacking small parts of your life to reap bigger benefits.

With that said, there is no single thing that will move the needle and take your business to the next level.

But what you can do is instead optimize the little things in your life that make you weaker or distract you – like bad sleep, things you’re intolerant to, bad diet, and so on. This is something he goes in more depth in his book: 1% Secret.

In the end, Martyn says it’s important for entrepreneurs to be the gatekeepers of their own compass and ask themselves what they want to be remembered for.

At SmarterDestiny, he says they call this being an enlightened entrepreneur: someone who’s crushing in business but is also using their wealth to make the world a better place.

As you’re succeeding, the world should be improving too.

Here’s what we cover during episode #58:

  • 03:11 – How Martyn began his entrepreneurial journey when he was just 14 and had a crush on a girl
  • 05:09 – What Facebook ads and marketing looked like in the early days of 2007
  • 08:30 – Crashing servers and generating up to $70K per month by driving traffic to websites in 2012
  • 13:31 – Early days of Shopify in 2014, why this was a complete game-changer for Martyn’s operation, and what happened that caused the spark to scale
  • 15:22 – Why Martyn recommends all entrepreneurs to stop and remove themselves from their business for a week or so to reflect on what they’ve done and where they’re trying to go
  • 17:28 – Why Martyn sold most of his stores he was managing to focus on one specific thing
  • 19:45 – Launching a Shopify eCommerce brand that generated $1M in the first 90 days
  • 22:30 – What happens when you scale way too fast and your suppliers are forced to play catch up
  • 26:27 – How Martyn understood the power of driving traffic and what he could do with it
  • 40:40 – Fire approach to marketing in which you move people and get them to feel something 
  • 44:20 – Importance of understanding and misunderstanding the real reason why people are buying your products
  • 47:17 – How Martyn got into nootropics, optimizing for happiness, and biohacking tips 
  • 53:19 – Understanding different supplements and the definition of nootropics – anything from coffee to cocaine
  • 1:02:48 – EXCLUSIVE: Use this discount code for a 15% off of your nootropics purchase at Noobru
  • 1:03:18 – The 80/20 ratio Martyn found in biohacking and his business
  • 1:12:55 – Getting all of the little things right and removing all of the bad things from your life 
  • 1:15:20 – How Martyn was writing his book 1% Secret through dictation while walking his dog at the same time
  • 1:25:33 – Martyn’s approach to creating a mastermind board of advisors, a safe, trusted, collaborative space where you and like-minded people can share ideas
  • 1:29:10 – Why Martyn believes you should be striving to be the dumbest (not smartest) person in a mastermind group
  • 1:31:50 – Stories of launching masterminds in Costa Rica and events that cost $5K-10K
  • 1:38:27 – Martyn Cook’s ‘Cartel Mastermind’, and what to expect if you’ll be let in
  • 1:44:06 – Part 2 of the podcast in 4-6 months and what you can expect.
  • 1:44:25 – Brief recap of Martyn’s projects and where you can find more information
  • 1:48:30 – Being the gatekeeper of your own compass and what being an enlightened entrepreneur who helps other people means to Martyn

Follow Martyn:

Find Deividas:

Links mentioned in the episode:


1% Secret

Cartel’s Mastermind

eCommerce Growth Hacks | Facebook Ads, Creatives, Email & More | by Sugatan

Last 3 Episodes:

#57 Jure Knehtl – Localized Scaling: How to Grow a Brand From 0 to $2.1M/mo in 1 Year

#56 Kris Sugatan – 3 Biggest Lessons From 2020: The Highs and Lows of Managing and Scaling Businesses

#55 Bostjan Belingar – 80/20 Rule in Life and Email Marketing



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